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HSC to glow green, purple for childhood cancer awareness

May 15, 2015

Light It Up For EmilyNIU’s Holmes Student Center will “Light It Up for Emily” in shades of green and purple during the week of June 1.

The colorful lights are part of a campaign to spotlight awareness of childhood cancer, specifically the case of 12-year-old Emily Beazley, who died Monday from an aggressive Stage III ​T-cell Lymphoblastic Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Beazley was diagnosed April 7, 2011.

After two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy in her port, legs and spine, she finished treatment July 18, 2013.

As life began returning to “normal,” Beazley relapsed. Intense chemotherapy started again March 24, 2014.

Last summer, she began radiation at Northwestern Hospital for one chemo-resistant lymph node. Full-body radiation and high-dose chemotherapy were administered Aug. 12, 2014, as part of a pre-transplant conditioning; a stem cell transplant took place eight days later at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Her sister, Olivia, proved a perfect match.

Unfortunately, a routine PET scan conducted Jan. 12 of this year revealed three new spots in her right chest wall. Intense “last-ditch” chemotherapy began.

Last month, her family received the devastating news that the cancer continued to grow despite being given chemotherapy. She died at 11:02 p.m. Monday, May 18.

“Emily is dancing amongst the Angels in a field of green & purple flowers. Her body free of disease,” her family wrote online. “Emily earned her angel wings.”

Dillon Domke, speaker of the Student Association Senate, brought the #EmilyStrong initiative to NIU. Domke’s uncle, who is an NIU alum, lives next-door to the Beazley family and is an organizer of the “Light It Up for Emily” efforts.

After SA members passed a resolution April 26 to support the initiative, Domke approached Alan Phillips, vice president of Administration and Finance at NIU. Phillips agreed to “light up” the HSC.