One Moorhead Teen Doesn’t Let Epilepsy Stop Her From Living Her Dream

But Emma is taking off her usual protection and putting on a look fit for a fighter

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Things haven’t always come easy to 14–year–old Emma Pederson, but one thing always has…a smile, ear to ear.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen met Emma a few weeks ago and knew her story needed to be told.

Now she shows us how her dream has finally become a reality.

The roar of the engine and heavy gear has always fascinated Emma Pederson.

“Can we go to the fire station today? That was always one of her things,” said Vicki Pederson, Emma’s Grandma.

But they weren’t the heroes coming to her door step.

The ambulance lights and the police badges became a lot more familiar.

“My daughter kept taking her to the doctors and they just kept saying she was autistic and my daughter kept saying she wasn’t,” Vicki said.

Suffering from multiple types of epilepsy, her severe condition has made wearing a helmet part of her daily get up.

“She suffers with seizures every day,” Vicki said.

But Emma is taking off her usual protection and putting on a look fit for a fighter.

“Put the whole ensemble on,” said one firefighter.

“Every day she just loves life. She’s just thankful for everyday and she’s thankful for all the people in her life,” Vicki said.

“It’s perfect, that’s perfect,” Emma said.

“I love being able to share it with somebody who has the same amount of passion that we do,” said Kayla Cross, with the Moorhead Fire Department.

She is getting a firsthand feel at how they get their job done.

“You have any idea what this tool is?” asked one firefighter.

Emma made sure to snap a shot of every moment.

“Take a picture of me grandma,” Emma said.

But her passion lies with her wide eyes on the big red truck.

“We should go for a ride. You want to go for a ride in the truck? How does that sound?” asked one firefighter.

“Always would turn around and she would see a firetruck and she was like I want to ride in the fire truck,” Vicki said.

“This isn’t a day for her. For somebody else it might be, make their hour or their afternoon, but this is a life changing thing for her,” Vicki said.

“This is my first time being in a fire truck,” Emma said.

“It’s her dream. It’s her dream come true,” Vicki said.

“I mean you see kids happy but that was another type of happy she had,” said Derek Berg, a Moorhead Firefighter.

It may not be a part of the job description, but these firefighters say the joy in her eyes…

“Gives me goosebumps,” Kayla said.

“We may not be protecting but we are helping serve by giving this little girl a dream she wants,” Derek said.

“To be so open and so willing and so loving towards her, it makes my heart just melt,” Vicki said.

Life may get tough for Emma, but nothing gets in her way.

“Just having that spark to keep you moving I think is really important to never give up,” Derek said.

Whether it’s fighting flames or surviving seizures, Emma has become an inspiration to her heroes.

“You smell like fire hahaha. Oh my god, this is amazing right,” Vicki said.

“She will talk about this forever,” Vicki said.

Emma got to fulfill her dream with her mother, brother and grandma by her side.

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