The Tringali family first heard, “Emmaline has cancer.” in early January 2016 and from there their life became living one day at a time, which including days of being brave for blood transfusions and chemo treatments and living the others for brief moments of smiles and laughter. Fast forward four months later and the Tringali family received the good news in May 2016 that Emmaline is in remission.
“We were in surreal disbelief,” said Matt Tringali, Emmaline’s father and 24 Foundation top fundraiser. “As a matter of fact, we called the oncologist office back three times just to clarify that we understood what they were saying to us and what it really meant.”
Soon after Emmaline began treatment, Matt registered for 24 Hour s of Booty after hearing about it from several friends who are cyclists and participant regularly in the event. Fundraising for the event gave Matt and his family something positive to focus on during this difficult time. He raised nearly $38,000 and was the second place top fundraiser.
“24 Foundation has given me something to galvanize my efforts to in the fight against cancer,” Matt said. “During all of my fundraising efforts I had assumed that it would be a flash in the pan, once in a lifetime opportunity to raise so much money in the fight against cancer, but immediately upon completing the event I had a renewed passion, perhaps even stronger than last year, to raise as much money in the fight against cancer. I especially like that the money stays local and helps people that I know who are fighting against cancer. Especially with this being childhood cancer awareness month, it is just another reminder of how many kids are out there fighting the battle that Emmaline just fought.”
As for life post-treatment, the Tringali family is still living day by day to figure that out. Emmaline has regained her strength, put weight back on and has renewed energy. She started kindergarten, which has been a fun, yet challenging transition. Aside from adjusting to being away from her mom, Jules, and getting acclimated to school, Emmaline has regular clinic visits.
“For the rest of the world it seems our journey is complete,” said Jules Tringali, Emmaline’s mother. “In our world, we still have monthly clinic appointments. On clinic days, we hold our breath, fear the worst and do not exhale until the oncologist enters the room and says everything looks great. It sounds crazy. The chances of the cancer coming back are incredibly rare, but less rare than the chance of her getting cancer in the first place, which is our reality.“
Cancer is a scary word and the journey often leaves people speechless at the depth of fear the patient and caregivers feel and the amount of suffering they see. While cancer can seem to steal so much away from a family by reshaping personalities of all who are affected, it does not take away love. Emmaline and the Tringali family experienced so much love from doctors and nurses, church, family, friends and 24 Foundation that helped see them through this journey and realize there is not a lot in life worth complaining about.
“To see what Emmaline has endured this past year is inspiring and gives me such perspective on what real suffering is.,” Matt said. “Support childhood cancer in a small way today by not complaining about things that aren’t really that hard. I can’t count has many times I heard other people complain about minor stuff in their life when I didn’t know of my child would survive the night. Honor cancer kids and their suffering by learning that not a whole lot in life is worth complaining about.“