Emma's birthday wish: Community rallies to make it come true

Emma Ritter will spend her 7th birthday in the hospital, and all she wants is 100 cards to celebrate her big day.
BAKERSFIELD - The community is rallying around a little Bakersfield girl, who will spend her birthday in the hospital.

Emma Ritter's only wish for her big day is to get 100 birthday cards, and strangers around the world are trying to make it happen.

Six-year-old Emma was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was just 18 months old.

She's been at Childrens Hospital in Madera, getting ready to undergo another sinus surgery this weekend.

She'll be recovering in the hospital, when she turns seven on Monday.

Emma Ritter opens an early birthday gift Friday in her room at Children's Hospital in Madera.

It's the first year she won't spend her real birthday at home. But, Emma isn't asking for gifts to celebrate her big day. She wants something else.

"100 cards," said Emma, smiling.

"First when she asked for 100 cards I thought she was crazy." But, Lisa Ritter wanted to make her daughter's wish come true.

So she started a Facebook page called 'Emma's Army,' asking for people to fulfill this very big wish. And, it didn't take long for word to spread.

Since we first brought you Emma's story Thursday at 11 p.m., people have been sharing it on Facebook and calling their friends to help make Emma's birthday one to remember.

"I know we have cards coming from Thailand, all over the world," said Lisa Ritter. "To see something so simple come to reality has been amazing."

As for Emma, she can't wait for her special day, even if it means spending it in the hospital.

"We're gonna have a party, cake and I think all of the nurses are going to be there," said Emma.

"Every birthday is so special to us and every milestone we celebrate huge, from pre-school graduation to kindergarten graduation," said her mom. "I think when you live in the world of C.F., you learn how special every day counts and you make every day count."

If you would like to help make Emma's birthday wish come true, you can send a card to:

Emma Ritter
Room 506
Children's Hospital Central California
9300 Childrens Place
Madera, CA 93636.

Emma's surgery will get rid of the polyps in her sinuses, allowing her to breathe easier. In addition, she'll continue to take 12 medications a day, to keep other problems at bay.
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