Students at Holy Cross Secondary School got to ditch their uniforms by donating a toonie — and show off their funkiest socks — all in the name of fellow student Emma Jenkins.
“She loves everyone and everyone loves her,” says Cailyn Zuuring, Emma’s best friend.
“Just to see that many people care just as much as I do, everyone wearing their crazy socks and everyone wishing her good luck, it just makes me so happy.”
Jenkins, a Grade 11 student, awoke the morning of Jan. 31 paralyzed on the left side of her body.
She was airlifted to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
“It was hard not knowing, not knowing how bad it was,” says Lori Jenkins, Emma’s mother.
Brain scans revealed a large stroke, along with several mini-strokes in the past.
Emma was diagnosed with moyamoya, a rare, chronic and progressive condition that affects the arteries in the brain and can cause strokes and seizures.
“The doctor had told us that when they see children come in like this, usually they’re in the hospital for a few weeks and then they go to a rehab centre — they don’t come home,” says Jenkins.
“So that just goes to show you how strong Emma really is.”
A GoFundMe campaign for the family has raised more than $6,000.
Schools across the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board are also fundraising for the Jenkins family, with Holy Cross alone raising more than $2,000.
“Emma loves funky socks,” says Pareza Tahamtan, student council head girl at Holy Cross.
“So we themed the day off funky socks, just to show our support that our school community and other schools have for her today.”
Jenkins is beyond thankful to the community and says the money will help ease the financial strain of taking time off work to travel to and from appointments and checkups.
“People I don’t even know and have never met are giving and it’s really nice,” she says.
“I thank everybody, it’s really nice.”
Emma is now on medication for her condition and hopes to return to school for half-days in the coming weeks.