Ride for Em – A community fundraiser close to our hearts

In 2022, our school community was deeply affected by the passing of Emily So, one of our Kindergarten students. We want to share with you about the community fundraiser that has been created in Emily’s name and encourage everyone to consider supporting this important cause. Together we can do great things for God. 

Our brave, quirky, gentle, and funny Emily So passed away aged 5 on 24 May 2022, just seven months after being diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Emily was in kindergarten at WCCS in 2022. Around 20 children are diagnosed with DIPG in Australia every year, with most given just nine to 12 months to live. Despite DIPG being such a deadly and aggressive tumour, treatment options for children haven’t changed in more than half a century (since before man walked on the moon). The only established treatment is radiotherapy, which can only extend life by a matter of months. The prognosis is so bleak, parents are simply told to ‘go make memories.’

This tragic outcome for families and children, like Emily, won’t change unless there is a medical breakthrough. That’s why we’re getting behind a new Australian clinical trial by leading Professor David Ziegler from the Children’s Cancer Institute. The trial is showing real promise using CAR-T cell therapy, which involves modifying a child’s own immune cells in a laboratory to (hopefully) teach them to fight the tumour. But this type of cutting-edge research relies heavily on the fundraising efforts of families, friends, and the community.The ‘Ride for Em’ is one way we can honour Emily’s life, and raise money for this vital clinical research. Our hope is that one day, curative treatments for DIPG will finally become available so that other families don’t have to endure what ours did. DIPG is often called the “Mt Everest of cancers” but it’s our hope that we will one day overcome the mountain and make a real difference to other children and their families. Last year, the inaugural ‘Ride for Em’ raised almost $50,000. This year, we’re aiming to double that figure and reach $100,000.

Your support is appreciated as we join together to make a difference in the lives of children diagnosed with DIPG both now and in the future. 

Heather So
Mother of Emily So