8-year-old Cavaliers fan cheering from France

Emily pictured with her father (Tristan), mother (Kristen) and two brothers. (Source: Family of Emily Southgate)
Emily pictured with her father (Tristan), mother (Kristen) and two brothers. (Source: Family of Emily Southgate)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a very special fan rooting for them all the way from France.

8-year-old Emily Southgate is a cerebral palsy fighter and an avid supporter of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Emily was introduced to basketball by her older brother in October 2017, and can't seem to get enough of the game.

"She loves the Cavaliers," exclaimed her father Tristan Southgate. "Emily asked for a hoop in the garden for her birthday in February of 2018 and has been outside everyday shooting hoops despite her fatigue and foot braces."

The father of four was surprised by the family's love of the game because the country's national sport is soccer.

"They really drew a liking to it," said Southgate. "She now has the kit (uniform), and wears it every game."

Emily doesn't let her condition stop her from doing what she loves. All postseason, she has been rooting for the team, as they fight to contend for an NBA Championship.

"She wants to jump as high as LeBron James," said her brother. Emily couldn't help but smile at the thought of out-leaping her favorite player.

Emily is in the midst of a transition as she prepares for a life-changing surgery in early 2019.

According to medical experts, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy or SDR surgery is a procedure that treats muscle spasticity caused by abnormal communication among the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

The corrective surgery is very rare and will require Emily to travel to St. Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri for the procedure.

The surgery is expensive so the family has set up a gofundme to help cover costs.

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