First CSF walk for Greenville’s Emma Durdle is June 22

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:40 am on Monday, June 17, 2013

Emma Durdle, 6, of Greenville, suffers from terrible headaches, numbness and tingling in her legs, back pain and poor sleep due to central apnea caused by Chiari Malformation.

GREENVILLE — A Greenville resident was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia and she has been fighting to raise funds and awareness for the cause ever since.

Emma Durdle was only 2 years old when she was diagnosed with CM and Syringomyelia and had her first brain surgery shortly after.

According to her mother Angela Durdle, Emma, now 6, suffers from terrible headaches, numbness and tingling in her legs, back pain and poor sleep due to central apnea caused by the CM.

“Emma can never jump on a trampoline, do (jumping) jacks, somersaults, gymnastics and sports are very limited,” Angela said. “Anything that could cause the average Joe whiplash could have much more devastating effects on Emma due to to the compression in the brain – Emma has never let this slow her down or bring her down.”

About two months ago, Angela said Emma, who is a student at Lincoln Heights Elementary School, started asking about a cure for CM and how she could raise money to help find a cure.

Angela agreed to help Emma find a way to raise some funds, and even held a garage sale to start getting funds for the Chiari and Syingomyelia Foundation (CSF), where they raised $76.50.

“Then Emma decided we should have a walk,” Angela said. “We raise money each fall for The American Foundation for Suicide Preventions Out of the Darkness Walk, so she is familiar with this type of fundraiser. At that time, she mentioned there was no walk in Michigan, so we made one.”

Angela became the chairwoman of the CSF and has got support from Greenville Public Schools to let her hold the walk at the track.

The school even allowed everyone to donate $1 for wearning purple to help support Emma’s cause in which $279 was raised.

“Have I mentioned that we have a truly amazing community?” Angela said.

The walk will take place at 7 p.m. — with registration starting at 6 p.m. — June 22 at the high school track. The Service Professor and Griffith Photography have agreed to sponsor the walk.

Many businesses have donated items for a silent auction as well, Angela said.

The walk will be a one-mile casual walk around the track with the evening being concluded at roughly 8:30 p.m.

“If just one person is educated about Chiari Syringomyelia and related disorders, it will be a success,” Angela said. “Please come out and support Emma and CSF.”

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