PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ When Eyewitness News first introduced you to Emerson Lucier, she was 3 years old and battling cancer for the third time.
Emerson has been cancer-free for more than a year now, significantly reducing her chances of relapsing.
She’s also made some new friends on her road to recovery.
Providence police officer Jen Pacheco saw Emerson’s story on Facebook.
Knowing the family was spending Thanksgiving in the hospital, she decided to visit and fell in love with Emerson’s infectious smile.
She even purchased “Warrior Princess Emerson” bracelets with her own money and sold them at local coffee shops. She raised $4,000 for Emerson and her family.
When Emerson finished her treatment, Pacheco wanted to do something special to help other kids in the hospital, all in Emerson’s name.
That’s how “Art for Emerson” was born. In one short month, Pacheco and fellow officers collected enough art supply donations to fill two stretchers.
“The best thing about it was watching Emerson on the stretchers because, for a 4-year-old to be a part of something like that and not ask for anything on the stretcher, it was incredible,” Pacheco said.
“It’s a huge, monumental thing, what they did, what they are doing,” Johnna Lucier, Emerson’s mom added. “Just to see women in the police force helping a family like that, you felt it in your soul.”
Pacheco said Emerson’s the one who deserves all the credit.
“You walk around in this uniform and everyone thinks you’re a hero,” Pacheco said. “But, to be honest, I think she’s the hero.”
Emerson used to want to be a doctor when she grew up, but thanks to her blossoming friendship with Pacheco, crime-fighting may be in her future instead.
“When I first asked her what she wanted to be it was a doctor,” Pacheco said. “Then when we were submitting the arts-and-crafts supplies to the hospital, that’s the first time she said ‘I think I want to be a police officer.’ For now, we’ll concentrate on Kindergarten.”
Pacheco is already planning her next “Art for Emerson” donation drive, which is scheduled to take place in December 2020.