Someone 2 Know: Emma Klacking - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Someone 2 Know: Emma Klacking

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Erika Sanchez is an Assistant Principal at Galena High School. She has been at the school for nine years, and in that time, has met a lot of students.  

"You definitely run into the students that have their own stories that are challenging," Sanchez said. "But this one is very special. This is a very unique story." 

By most standards, senior Emma Klacking is like a lot of graduates in Northern Nevada. She plays sports, has a best friend, and wants to stay local after she graduates.         

"I'll go to Nevada," said Emma. "I'll study biotechnology."

Biotechnology plays a big part in her family. Her dad, John Klacking is in the industry too. 

"I have a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and I'm University of Nevada also," John told us. 

It's not just a profession for Emma and John, it's personal too.

"Although we were very young, we were inseparable," Emma remembers of her older brother John. He was two-and-a-half years older than her. He loved his little sister and Emma loved him back.

"When he moved to Texas, I moved to Texas." 

However, the Klackings did not move to Texas for a new house, but a hospital. 
"John was diagnosed in August 2001," the older John Klacking said. 

It was leukemia. Emma was seven when John passed away at age 10. 

"My brother passing away was the biggest impact on my life."

The three Klackings would eventually move back to Northern Nevada. But the cancer didn't leave them in the Lone Star state. Her mom had it too, even before her son was dying.  
"Kerri was diagnosed in March of 2000," said John. 
She had multiple bouts with melanoma, not to mention battles with breast cancer. Kerri fought for 14 years, until December of 2014. After the deaths of her brother, and her mom, Emma was understandably distraught, yet undeniably determined. 

"I've taken countless science classes. I think last year alone I took four."

Emma doesn't have plans to single-handedly cure cancer. But this dad and daughter duo will certainly do their part.

"We lost a battle, but we didn't lose a war," said John. "The war keeps going, and she and I are going to attack that war. And that's how we do it." 

Emma graduates from Galena High School on June 9. Emma's story is part of the Washoe County School District's Countdown to Graduation, where they share the inspiring stories of 17 graduating students. Click here to go to the school district's Countdown to Graduation webpage

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