BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - UPDATE
An official from Louisiana Destination Imagination told KLSA $2,000 was raised through various donations on Saturday; the organization will be matching the funds raised. A total of $4,000 will be donated to the Michael Mosier Foundation. If you'd like to make a donation, click here.
Hundreds of kids flooded Elm Grove Middle School Saturday for the Louisiana Destination Imagination state tournament.
Destination Imagination requires teams of students from different schools to think outside the box using critical thinking. But, for the Legacy Elementary squad, a very important teammate is missing.
In 2016, 9-year-old Emilie Gibson was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma after she reported a series of painful headaches. She was told by doctors she had less than a year to live.
"I think it was the most devastating news anyone could hear," said Trey Gibson, Emilie's father.
Trey describes his daughter as courageous, selfless, intelligent and outgoing. Her mantra: "Just keep swimming."
"She was a very competitive person, her name meant 'rival,'" Gibson said. "We wanted her to be every bit of a rival to her older brother and any other challenge that was out there."
While she boldly took on her cancer, Emilie had the opportunity to go to Harry Potter world in Florida, ride a camel and compete at the international Destination Imagination competition in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"There was never a challenge put in front of Emilie that she was upset about or felt down about," said Eileen Jarman, Emilie's former teacher and coach. "She was always positive and ready to do her best - no matter the situation."
On October 31, 2017, after a hard-fought battle with her tumor, she died at home surrounded by friends and family.
"The lesson that I got from Emilie is that I want to be more like her," Gibson said. "She did not let her tumor control her."
Although the Legacy Elementary Destination Imagination team is missing one of its key members, this enthusiastic and loving group of students is carrying on Emilie's legacy.
"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going," said one of Emilie's teammates.
Gibson said his daughter's tumor was donated to science to be studied by cancer researchers. If you'd like to make a donation to the foundation which raises money for the kind of cancer Emilie fought, click here.