Join Emilie and Bake it Better

Seven-year-old Emilie loves baking with her big sister, Siena. This year they are taking part in Bake it Better to say thank you to all the doctors and nurses who have cared for Emilie at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Emilie’s mum, Melissa, tells us their story.

The feeling of dread

“A few years ago, I could see Emilie wasn’t herself and took her to A & E,” recalls Emilie’s mum, Melissa. “I remember the feeling of dread when we were called into a room. They told us it was leukaemia. It was such a shock and I remember saying, ‘you told me she has an ear infection’. I just didn’t know how to deal with the news and couldn’t believe it was happening. Our local hospital contacted GOSH straight away, as they knew Emilie needed specialist care.

“Emilie was only four so she didn’t understand very much. She knew she wasn’t well, that she couldn’t go to school, and that she’d have to be in hospital for a while before she got better.”


“It has been heartbreaking for her older sister, Siena. She has support from schoolteachers, friends and church parishioners, and she does her best to be strong for her sister, but one of the hardest things for her is being separated from me. I’m in hospital so much with Emilie, it’s so sad that our family have been broken up for so long. It’s been very tough.

“Throughout it all, we have experienced incredible support. The doctors always make sure we understand every stage of her treatment, and our whole family has seen the GOSH counsellors and sought guidance from the chaplains. Emilie saw a teacher and a play specialist every day. They were key to getting her through the bad days.”

Writing stories

“Emilie wrote stories with her GOSH teacher and I was amazed by the co-ordination between the GOSH school and Emilie’s school. We met her new classmates the other day and a girl said, “Oh you’re Emilie, I have heard so much about you, and it’s great to finally meet you”. Emilie’s story had been read to the class and they all wanted to get to know Emilie – it was really sweet!

“Emilie loves story time and she spent half hour on Tuesday writing with her GOSH teacher. I had no idea and they had 3,000 words. All they need now is to decide on a title, some drawings and they have a book! It’s about a girl who is shrunk and goes on a journey inside an ill girl, trying to cure her, which is what is on Emilie’s mind.”

Looking forward

“We still have the fear Emilie will get sick. She is very vulnerable to infection so she can feel quite isolated at home. There is a lot of boredom. Emilie is really looking forward to being well enough to return to school. As she gets better, we’ll be able to do more things with her friends and help her feel normal again.”

Bake it Better

“Emilie and Siena are very excited about being part of the Bake it Better appeal. They are getting lots of compliments about the photos at school and from Emilie’s nurses – they’re really keen to sell cakes and biscuits on the day.

“We are supporting the Bake it Better appeal to say thank you. We can’t thank the BMT and haematology teams at Great Ormond Street Hospital enough for everything they have done to save Emilie’s life.”

Kicking off on 22 May, Bake it Better is the sweetest way to raise some dough for GOSH and help children like Emilie. Find out more about how you can bake a difference and sign up today.

Get your bake on