12-year-old Emma Roberts is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which is a type of cancer that causes bone marrow to make too many immature white blood cells. The Maltby Intermediate School student was diagnosed in April and has been undergoing treatment since.

Family, friends and community members rallied around her, raising funds for medical expenses and other needs by selling t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, “Emma Roberts Strong”. On Monday, Emma and some of her family members were presented with a check at Kensington Valley Varsity in Brighton, which is where the t-shirts were made. Owner Stephanie Konkel says the response they received was “tremendous”, noting that several local groups have piggy-backed off it to make an even greater impact. Emma’s mom, Janet, thanked everyone who contributed to the fundraiser, saying they couldn't have made it this far without the community's support.

Janice Buckley, a family friend of the Roberts’ who helped coordinate the t-shirt fundraiser, says they plan to hold a second fundraiser with long-sleeve shirts and sweatshirts soon, as well as a car wash. They’ll also be coordinating their efforts with Brighton Area Schools’ “Pink Week”. Buckley thanked supporters for rising to the occasion, saying the community has gone above and beyond where anyone thought this would go.

Emma says the community’s support makes her feel “awesome”, and that it’s “amazing” seeing pictures of people wearing her shirt, which her mom shows to her during her treatments. She’ll be admitted to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor this week to begin her next phase of chemotherapy, which is expected to continue until January. (DK)