Rich Dziedzic vividly recalls the moment he learned that his daughter, Emily, had been diagnosed with leukemia.
“I remember the day. Her mother called me and said, ‘You have to come home,” Dziedzic said in a video posted on Facebook. “We had a family meeting. Fortunately, everybody was home. I do remember her coming in and telling us. It was very difficult.”
The news was a shock to Emily’s family, but after shedding some tears, they decided there was no time for pity.
“The tears came, the tears went,” said her father, a Worth trustee. “We got to fight.”
Indeed, Emily Dziedzic has spent nearly the past two years fighting. The 22-year-old successfully responded to chemotherapy and the cancer went into remission but resurfaced in November 2013.
Dziedzic on Wednesday was scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant, which her doctors agree is the best long-term option for overcoming the disease.
A graduate of Shepard High School, Dziedzic has undergone a lot during the past two year, but she’s rarely complained, family members say.
“She amazing. Her dedication. Her attitude. She never feels like it’s a burden to her,” said her aunt, Karen Dziedzic.
Her father agrees.
“If it’s courage and you want to label it as courage, she’s got more than most people,” he said during the video, which can be found on the Getting Buzzed for Emily Facebook page.
“We will go to the ends of the earth of we have to. Whatever is needed to keep her here,” he said.
The Dziedzic’s aren’t alone in their fight. They have the help and support of family and friends who will come together Sunday at the Chieftain Irish Pub, 6906 W. 111th St., in Worth to raise money to defray Emily’s medical expenses.
The benefit, Getting Buzzed for Emily, will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $10 and children 12 and under are free. The event will feature food, drink specials, music, raffles and split the pot. Several individuals have agreed to have their heads shaved to raise money for the cause.
For more information or to make a donation, call Karen Dziedzic at (815) 634-8114. Donations also can be made at the Private Bank, 6825 W. 111th St., Worth.