Emma Fogarty Story

Eight-year-old Emma Fogarty of Waconia lost her life to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a rare tumor located at the stem of her brain. This is a story of family, appreciation for life and how Ridgeview Hospice touches lives in extraordinary ways.
Emma Fogarty Story

The does and fawns came right up to her. Their big brown eyes were beautiful and curious like hers. She couldn’t raise her delicate arms to feel their velvety fur, so we helped, as she sat peacefully in her wheelchair. Our day at the wildlife sanctuary meant so much since our 8-year-old sweet Emma was losing her courageous battle with an inoperable brain tumor.

Awed by a meadow of yellow dandelions and overwhelmed by the detailed beauty of butterflies, Emma was uniquely appreciative of all living things. And she loved collecting and playing with stuffed animals, making sure each family was complete with a mom, dad and baby. Little did we know our own family of four would end up a family of three. Emma had intuition; a spirit wise beyond her years.

After her grim diagnosis, we never lost hope—the reason we initially told Ridgeview Hospice we wouldn’t need their services. But Emma’s tumor kept fighting. When she lost her ability to walk, talk and give out hugs, we welcomed Ridgeview Hospice into our home.

Little sister Abby became Emma’s primary watchdog—the ultimate helper, snuggler and protector. But hospice nurses Kim and Alycia brought medical expertise and care beyond expectation, and a friendship that we’re so grateful for. From music and massage therapy to responsive medical access conveniently close to home, Ridgeview Hospice gave us peaceful comfort, vital support and precious time so we could love Emma, thank her and say good-bye.

When Emma took her last breath, she was surrounded by the three of us—Mom, Dad and sister Abby.

She was an inspirational patient, daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend—who won the hearts of an entire community. When the sun touches her red tulips in the spring and beautifully etched butterflies on her gravestone, it’s symbolic of her delicate life and how it was lived with profound love, confidence and celebration.

Emma’s life was a journey inspired by life’s experiences. Thanks to Ridgeview Hospice, our family was able to walk with her to the end, so grateful she was pain-free and at peace. When you have a short life to live, you have a lot of living to do. We helped Emma do that, and thankfully hospice filled a void toward the end, with access to invaluable resources. For families like ours who benefit from Ridgeview Hospice—a program supported by donors like you—please know your gift touches lives like Emma’s in extraordinary ways.

With love for sweet Emma and gratitude for Ridgeview Hospice,

Tara Fogarty, and Mike & Abby

*With your gift of $35 or more, you will receive a handmade ornament
personalized with your loved one’s name.