Children's Hospital of Philadelphia nurse helps reunite siblings in foster care

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A pediatric oncology nurse at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is doing extraordinary work reuniting foster kids with their siblings.

Action News interviewed Samantha Emdur as she was in the park with 2-year-old Jordan.

It takes a lot of energy to keep up with the toddler, but Emdur has a lot of practice.

Not only has Jordan has been with Emdur since she was five months old, but the nurse has had 11 other kids come through her door before.

"Growing up, my parents brought in homeless people," explained Emdur. "So I just grew up knowing if you had the ability to provide for others, you should."

That lesson came full circle eight years ago when one of Emdur's patients at CHOP asked for her to be a foster parent.

"I went home knowing that ethically I couldn't foster her, but knowing there were kids out there that needed a safe home," Emdur said.

As she got familiar with the process, she started to notice a trend.

"Every child that was placed with me - who had siblings - was separated," Emdur said.

So she started a nonprofit called Camp to Belong River Valley, where kids could meet their siblings.

Reuniting brothers and sisters is already a challenge, but with a pandemic, it's become even more difficult.

So Emdur reached out for help and was awarded a $100,000 grant through Pilot Pens.

"Because of this G2 Overachievers Grant, they are helping us be able to survive reuniting siblings in a pandemic," Emdur said.

It's a lot to handle, being a full-time nurse and running a nonprofit, but Emdur has something driving her.

She officially adopted Jordan last fall.

"It's just been a blessing all around," Emdur said.
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