Shelley's Emersyn Drollinger utilized her Make-a-Wish to receive an abundance of brand new equipment for the Russets softball program.

Emersyn is an eighth grader who stars at catcher for her softball team. She lives with cystic fibrosis, which gave her access to making a dream come true via Make-a-Wish. But rather than choosing something for herself, Emersyn wanted to benefit the community as a whole.

"I think when I learned that a 'pay-it-forward wish' was an option for my Make-a-Wish, I knew that's what I wanted to do because there's been a lot of good people that have helped me a lot in my life," Emersyn said. "So I knew I wanted to do something to give back to them."

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that leads to increased production of mucus, which can block the pancreatic ducts and intestines. As a result, Emersyn has to go through extra steps just to get ready for basic tasks like going to school each day. Yet, if you just saw Emersyn on the softball field, you would have no idea she lives with the condition. Her mother, Lisal, thinks this teaches a valuable lesson.

"One thing that cystic fibrosis has taught our family is that most people have something really hard that no one else knows about that they're fighting just in the walls of their own home," Lisal said. "So we hope that we're better at realizing that everybody has something hard and treating other people like we love them and they're doing the best they can."

Emersyn recently wrote a poem in a language arts class that sums up how she views living with cystic fibrosis.

"Mine was, 'Cystic fibrosis, battles that bring blessings.' It's a hard thing and I'm gonna have it the rest of my life, but I recognize that it brings blessings and that it's preparing me for something greater than what I can imagine."


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