Edmonds-Woodway grad, Warrior wrestler Emily Hood passes away

Emily Hood attending Edmonds-Woodway’s drive-thru graduation ceremony in June 2020. (File photo by Karl Swenson)

Updated with information about the celebration of life.

Three years after her cancer diagnosis, Edmonds-Woodway High School alumnus and former Warrior wrestler Emily Hood has died.

“February 28th, our beautiful baby girl made her way to heaven,” Emily’s mom Sharon Hood wrote on the GoFundMe site that had been set up to cover her daughter’s medical expenses. “She was at home surrounded by family, The Office was playing on TV, her favorite Spotify channel Love coffee, Love Jesus was playing “Well Done” in the background.”

In her junior year at EWHS, Emily was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a terminal, inoperable brain tumor with a mean survival rate of nine months. Her faith and positive attitude were an inspiration to everyone she met — at school, in the community and the hospitals.

A member of the Warriors’ girls wrestling team at the time of her diagnosis, Emily in March 2019 received a surprise phone call from Helen Maroulis, the first American to win gold in women’s wrestling at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The Olympian also traveled to Edmonds-Woodway High School to give a wrestling clinic as a fundraiser for Emily. The call and meeting were arranged by the school’s head wrestling coach, Brian Alfi.

Despite the odds against her and following numerous treatments, Emily graduated from Edmonds-Woodway with her classmates in June 2020.

“Emily battled through the absolute worst cancer but never complained once, always giving and putting others before her in her three-year journey; she was so strong and courageous and she made her family so proud,” Sharon wrote. “We celebrated her 20th birthday on Valentines Day and felt very fortunate to have had her in our lives for so long. We look forward to the day we see her again in heaven.”

The family said a celebration of Emily’s life has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in Edmonds.


  1. I had a brief opportunity to cross paths with Emily during her time at Madrona K-8 when I was doing costumes for Madrona Children’s Theatre productions. My personal memory is Emily as bright, kind and focused and she was liked by literally everybody. My daughter was a fellow classmate and shared her memories of Emily as always being fun and even downright goofy. In dealing with the horrible cards she and her family were dealt, she showed us all the brave warrior she was as well.
    It is my understanding that her treatment journey helped to advance the medical knowledge and understanding of DIPG as she partook in never- before-done treatments and that is an important part of her precious legacy.
    I send my deepest sympathies to her family and friends with her passing.
    Rest in Peace and Power, sweet Emily.

  2. What a remarkable young woman! She is an inspiration to us all.
    My brother died after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and I have seen how hard that struggle is.
    My thoughts are with her parents.

  3. Thank you Beth Fleming for your words, thoughts and memories of Emily.

    My sincere condolences go to Sharon Hood, her mother, family and friends. As a mother and grandmother I share in your grief and sorrow. Unimaginable. As a registered nurse, I have seen the devastation cancer has on everyone it touches. I am uplifted and grateful to Emily for choosing to participate in this never-before-done treatment for DIPG. She is a pioneer in the search for a cure that hopefully others will profit by.

    For those of you who knew and loved Emily, you are blessed. You now carry with you memories of your time with her. As you reflect on Emily and these precious memories, as a smile comes to your face, your heart, know that Emily smiles with you.

    God Bless.

  4. We may have never met Emily in person but as a mother of another EW warrior graduate who lost her battle to a glioblastoma on her brainstem, (Ashley was diagnosed just before Emily) the parallels these two tumors shared are uncanny. I often shared moments with Emily’s mom as Ashley’s journey ended in the timeframe given to Glioblastoma patients, moments of awe the girls shared with us. Must have been that EW warrior’s attitude within these two that showed us just how strong they were fighting the brain tumors they were given. I have been truly in awe of the Hood family and of Emily for her bravery. As a mother of a lost warrior my heart has been broken all over of learning of Emily’s passing. May you all find peace that Emily gave it her all and then some

    1. Jennifer R: I’m so sorry to hear that your family experienced a similar loss, please accept my condolences.

  5. Em showed the world what a true fighter looks like! She was an inspiration to everyone. She proved you should live each day as if it’s your last. No regrets. She truly will be missed and left a huge hole. Continued prayers for her family and friends

  6. I don’t know any of you personally, but found Emily’s journey through her Facebook page. She was such a warrior, and was so inspiring. She didn’t give up. I was always in awe of her determination and her faith. She will never be forgotten. All my love and prayers to your entire family. May memories and your faith carry you through until you all meet again.

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