There are few upsides in the world of pediatric cancer. When parents hear that their child has cancer, that marks the beginning of a horrifying journey filled with anxiety, fear, and often significant financial insecurity. This nightmare became a reality in 2013 for the Johnson family when their daughter Emery was diagnosed with leukemia at age three.
While a child is battling cancer, it’s common for at least one parent to take a substantial amount of time off work in order to be with their child through treatment. This frequently results in a significant reduction in income. When remembering the time during Emery’s treatment, her family shared, “Teddy Bear was there for our family from day one. They arranged a hotel room for us so we could be close to our daughter in the hospital and they even brought a cake to help celebrate Emery’s dad’s birthday during her hospital stay.”
Throughout Emery’s 26 months of treatment, her father Ethan, the wine club manager at Melville Winery, was able to take the time he needed to be with his daughter. Both Ron and Chad Melville, the owners of Melville Winery, wanted to help, but did not know how. Shortly after Emery’s diagnosis, the Johnsons learned about Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and were able to receive financial and emotional support. Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation helped pay the Johnson’s rent, utilities, car payments and gas, in addition to supporting the family during the entirety of Emery’s treatment. The Melville team was so inspired by the work of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation that they wanted to find a way to support the organization in the near future.
Five years later, Melville Winery is giving back. The Melville team has dedicated a special half-acre of their vineyard to honor Emery’s journey back to health. They are using the fruit from her section to produce a Pinot Noir in her name. The bottling is from 2012 and Melville Winery is donating 100% of the proceeds from each bottle sold of Pinot Noir Emery’s to Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
Fortunately, Emery is now a healthy and happy seven-year-old. When asked how she feels about the wine named in her honor, she says, “I’m famous! I feel very lucky to have my name on a bottle of wine and I am happy that it can help other kids who are battling cancer.”