Emma's HOPE

On Tuesday, February 10, our lives changed forever. My four year old niece, Emma Hope, was diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, or MLD, an extremely rare, genetic neurological disease. Her precious little body is unable to produce the enzyme that protects the myelin or white matter, in her brain and spinal cord. White matter damage causes progressive deterioration of her intellectual functions and motor skills. We were told that over time, she will not be able to walk and she will lose all of her cognitive functions. Our hearts broke into a million pieces when we were told that there is no treatment or cure. We have HOPE that we will find the right doctor or clinical trial. All of this will require travel, out of state and possibly out of the country, plus missing work and unplanned expenses for Shellene and Ryan. We would like to lessen the burden of money through this account and allow them to worry about Emma and where to find the best treatment for her. Ryan and Shellene tried for many years to become parents, their world revolves around Emma. Shellene worked very hard to complete her degree in special education last year and has worked for the Society for Mentally Handicapped in Medina, for the past 15 years. Ryan works full time as a truck driver and is in the National Guard/Army Reserves for the past 14 years, he also used to be a volunteer fire fighter in Chatham. (If this gives you any idea of the caring, giving, people they are) I have seen them go to the aid of others and complete strangers over the years, they help anyone in need. Now is our time to help them, we need to give them strength and support through this difficult journey. They are in for the fight of their lives against this disease, let's help them to help sweet Emma. Thank you and God bless.
  • Amber Phillips 
    • $20 
    • 53 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 59 mos
  • Chloe Rickels  
    • $25 
    • 60 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 60 mos
  • Jean-Marie McKnight 
    • $100 
    • 66 mos
See all


Shawna Stavlas 
Seville, OH
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more