'Sparkle, sweet Emma': 6-year-old who fought cancer passes away


A six-year-old girl from Victoria, N.L., who had a special love for unicorns, has lost her battle with cancer.

Emma Clarke, who was fighting nephroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric kidney cancer also known as Wilms tumour, died Sunday.

"She was an incredible young girl, with an infectious smile and brave spirit that would light up each room she entered," reads a Facebook post from Ronald McDonald House Charities Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Sweet Emma, we will never forget the twinkle in your eyes when you would share with us the names of your boyfriends, or show us your new unicorn item in your collection. Sparkle, sweet Emma, sparkle."

The organization extended its sympathies to the Clarke family, who stayed at the St. John's Ronald McDonald House for more than 300 days throughout Emma's illness.

Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador/Facebook

Emma was diagnosed with the disease in 2018, when she was 4½ years old.

A routine scan in October, just before her sixth birthday, showed the cancer had returned to her body for a third time.

A magical day

In November, a family friend decided Emma was going to see a real unicorn "if it's the last thing I do."

Emma and her mother, Courtney Clarke, were blindfolded and brought to Dixie H Farm in Goulds for a surprise: a white Newfoundland pony that was adorned with pink and purple flowers, pink fur and a gold horn.

Fairy-like music played in the background as Emma made her way to her favourite animal — a unicorn.

"She just immediately wanted to get on, which was shocking to us because ordinarily Emma would be shy around animals, especially a horse. But she got on and didn't want to get off," Clarke told CBC News in December.

"She's obsessed with unicorns and, of course, what little girl wouldn't love to have a ride on a magical unicorn?"

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador