INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Emma Stumpf, of Greenwood, may only be 14-years-old, but she’s accomplished a lot in her lifetime. Now she has a very important role in the 60th IPL 500 Festival parade.
When Emma was 7-years-old, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and she underwent 70 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of proton radiation to stabilize the tumor.
After completing extensive treatment, Emma was determined to find a way to make lengthy hospital stays easier for other children. She founded her program, Emma’s Art Cart, to provide art kits to children that are hospitalized and often confined to their bed. In just over two years, Emma’s Art Carts have provided more than 1,500 customized art kits, providing therapy and stimulation for young children battling big problems.
During a recent hospitalization, Emma’s only request was to meet a princess. Upon learning of this request, several of the 2016 500 Festival Princesses visited Emma’s hospital room. In addition, the 500 Festival named Emma Stumpf an honorary 500 Festival Princess.
The 500 Festival committee wanted to honor this extraordinary teen, so they named her grand marshal of the 60th IPL 500 Festival Parade. This makes Emma the youngest grand marshal in the history of the parade.
“Emma’s strength and resolve, coupled with her generous spirit and desire to put others before herself, make her an inspiration. Serving as Grand Marshal of one of Indy’s most cherished community events will give us all an opportunity to celebrate her accomplishments and encourage her in her ongoing battle with cancer,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival.