Little Emma is facing a cruel battle most of us hope to never deal with. At just six-years-old, she will soon begin her seventh round of chemotherapy because she’s fighting a brain tumor. Fortunately, her family is strong and supportive. Especially her dad, Brent Gehring.

Emma sitting between her brothers. Image by EmmaStrong via Facebook

Her Brave Dad Is With Her Every Step Of The Way

Because Emma is so ill, she can’t really walk. It forces her to use a walker. Brent carries her sometimes but it’s not always easy to do so. And it is a trying experience for Emma and her mother as well.

And a thoughtless stranger recently made the situation worse

EmmaStrong is a fitting name for this little girl’s Facebook page. Image by EmmaStrong

Every three months, the Gehrings travel to Boston so that Emma can visit the doctors at the local children’s hospital. Once that’s done, the family loves to have dinner at Union Oyster House. But a callous stranger recently ruined that for them after seeing the little girl’s dad carry her out of the restaurant.

“My daughter and I were leaving dinner the other night at Union Oyster House in Boston, MA,” Brent in a Facebook post that quickly went viral. “A dinner donated to us by an amazing business and friend that has been in our ‘family’ for years. When I crossed the street carrying her, she can’t walk without the use of her walker. A man yelled at me from 30 feet away: ‘What the [email protected]?’ he yelled. ‘Make her walk. That is what is wrong with kids today.'”

I get it. I know we judge each other all the time without having the facts. But what this man did is inherently cruel. Who knows what poor little Emma thought when she heard this?

Cute Emma and cute dog. Image by EmmaStrong courtesy of Red Willow Photography/Kelsy Greisen via Facebook

We know what Emma’s dad thought. Brent was angry. This guy was rude enough to curse in front of his daughter and he was criticizing them for something he knew nothing about. Brent had half a mind to cream this guy but he had the presence of mind to realize something positive could come out of this.

He decided to talk to the dude.

“I had a choice to make at that time. Can I make myself feel better by screaming at him or can I teach him something about life? I won’t lie to you and tell you that it was an easy choice but I got inches from his face, with my daughter in my arms, and quietly asked him if he was referring to my daughter,” Brent wrote. “‘Hell yes,’ he said.”

So the man got a few good bruises. On a mental, not physical level. The kind that makes their mark on the psyche. Only this time, in a positive way.

Emma has been through so much but she’s a brave fighter. Image by EmmaStrong via Facebook

Here’s what Emma’s dad told the stranger:

“My daughter has been carrying my faith and my strength for the past 5 years since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She can’t walk but I am happy to carry her because of all the amazing things she has taught me through the years. So I would advise you not address my daughter in any way other than respectful,” Brent says.

Then the two men had a meaningful discussion that turned insightful. Both were crying at the end. But each learned something about the other.

“This story is only important if it serves as a reminder that you don’t always know the whole story so don’t judge others,” he says.

But this also served as a good lesson for him, because it helped him realize that “good can come from any situation.” More than anything, Brent says he hopes some people will reexamine the way they think.

“This post doesn’t come looking for pity for Emma or my family,” Brent writes. “What I am asking for is a change in today’s world…a change in the way we think. The world is what we as people make it. We have the power to make days better or worse for others. I choose to attempt to make lives better.”

Little Emma has faced some huge battles, but it’s wonderful to see that she has such an excellent father helping her every step of the way.

You can read Brent’s full post below.

Featured image by EmmaStrong via Facebook

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