“Emery is constantly reminded of his limitations,” his mom Lori said. “Instead of letting that hold him back, he uses it as a launching pad to inspire other kids.”
Five years ago, Emery started a teddy bear drive, with the goal of giving out bears to the patients at Phoenix Children’s for Christmas. This past year, he expanded his drive to eight children’s hospitals in four states, delivering more than 10,000 bears. Emery knows how comforting something like a teddy bear can be to a child in the Hospital. Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at birth, Emery required a feeding tube until he was age 5, underwent three open heart surgeries and became the first patient at Phoenix Children's to receive a Melody heart valve.
His cardiac issues are ongoing, but that doesn’t stop him from playing on the baseball team at Perry High School. He also serves as a lobbyist for the American Heart Association, even speaking to President Obama’s top aides. In all aspects of his life, Emery has proven that he has a lot of heart!