Building Better Minds


Chesterfield survivor uses YouTube to help other kids beat cancer

Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 08:04:44-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va.  --  Teenagers wanting tips or talk on smashin’ fashion, hair or skin care, might want to check out the Emmy Mae XOXO channel on YouTube. Nearly 2,000 people subscribe to get updates from L.C. Bird High School student Emily Woodall.

She got the idea from watching others have successful YouTube channels.

"I kind of just taught myself actually," Emily said. "It's just a place where I can feel like I can be me. It's a place where I get to express my thoughts on anything that makes me happy."

Emily does not do it for the fame. In fact, she is just happy to be here.

At the age of two, Emily was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

One video she shared featured of her getting treatment at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

"I'm just getting chemo right here.  Um, this is like, I have a Hickman line.  But I called it 'my buddy,'" she said.

Emily also uses her videos to raise awareness of child cancer and to help St. Jude's.

"I still go back every year for checkups, so that's why I like filming it. Because I like being able to go back and see how St. Jude has changed over the years."

Her hard work is paying off. Emily and other kid cancer survivors have raised over $100,000 for St. Jude’s.

"It was really awesome because the teens did it.  It was more teens than adults, so it was cool seeing that generation, our generation, was able to do something like that."

Her YouTube channel and efforts to help improve the lives of sick children got the attention of Teen Vogue.

With cancer behind her, Emily can start looking at fashion trends. At fun ways girls can do their hair. To the future.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesday on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m.