Rising Star Emma Kok’s Candid Journey With Chronic Illness

Kok raises awareness and inspires others

Key Takeaways

  • Even before her gastroparesis diagnosis, Emma had to use feeding tubes without knowing the underlying cause of her inability to eat normally.
  • She continues facing severe daily struggles with her illness, even feeling guilty for having down moments.
  • Emma is inspiring others through her perseverance in such a debilitating chronic condition.

At just 16 years old, Dutch singer Emma Kok has achieved remarkable success, winning the 10th season of “The Voice Kids” in 2021.

However, her rise to fame has been underlined by a longtime battle with a rare chronic illness – gastroparesis.

For years, even prior to her gastroparesis diagnosis at age 11, Kok had to use feeding tubes without knowing the underlying cause.

5 years ago I got diagnosed with gastroparesis. And all those years I had tube feeding but no diagnosis,” she revealed in an August 2023 Instagram post.

Gastroparesis means her stomach is paralyzed, preventing her from eating normally.

“I can eat the tiniest bits just so that I can taste some stuff. But that’s also why I have tube feeding. I have two feeding pumps since I was a baby.”

After years of struggling largely out of the spotlight, Kok’s viral performance of “Voila” with Andre Rieu in August 2023 prompted her to share her story publicly.

Because I went viral, I gained a lot of followers, so that’s why am gonna tell my story,” she wrote.

Kok started the ‘Gastrostars Foundation‘ that month to raise awareness during Gastroparesis Awareness Month, lamenting,

“Because it’s a rare disease there’s also no attention to it. And I don’t think that’s fair.”

Even as her singing career took off, Kok continued facing daily challenges due to her illness.

In a February 2023 post, she called singing “the only medicine that works for me.”

However, by May 2024, the struggles became particularly severe, with Kok admitting,

“I’ll be honest with you. I am not feeling my best this last week. It has been hard. That’s not because of touring around the world and singing. I’ve been struggling with my illness a lot lately.”

She continues to struggle with the emotional toll, sharing,

“I felt guilty for feeling down, because I thought that I was not allowed to feel that way because of living my dream.”

Despite this, Kok finds motivation in her voice and dream, saying,

“I am so grateful that I am living my dream, it is the best medicine and therapy I could ask for.”

By sharing her experience of facing difficulties from a young age, Kok raises awareness and inspires others.

Her strength in overcoming adversity and achieving her goals despite a chronic illness is incredibly powerful.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • Emma Kok was born to parents Nathalie and Vico Kok.
  • She has a brother named Enzo Kok, a violinist, and an older sister named Sophie.
  1. Dear Emma:
    Hearing you sing Voila opened my heart to so many emotions. I like so many others cried while listening to your beautiful inspiring voice.
    Prayers for wellness are being prayed for you 💕🙏

  2. I’m a 68 year old veteran living on Social Security but I haft to see you in concert ! If you’re not touring in the US then please let me know your touring schedule . You are an angel that I must see before I leave this earth 💖

  3. Emma, my husband David Turner @elder_muzikman suffers with Gastroparesis and has been for 11 years. He is a musician and loves music. He also lost his sight due to diabetes 11 years ago.
    He has been in & out of the hospital monthly for almost 2years due to Gastroparesis flare-ups.
    When he is not in the hospital, he is encouraging and inspiring others who are battling with all types of diseases.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    We live in Texas and are doing everything we can to bring awareness to Gastroparesis. We also started a nonprofit organization called By Faith Not Sight.
    We stand with you as you are bringing awareness to Gastroparesis.
    Be encouraged and keep doing what you are doing.

  4. I discovered Emma from Voila, went back in time and followed her journey and videos as well as photo shares. Emma is absolutely outstanding as a singer and a human being. She is kind, caring, sense of humor, sharing her dreams and her illness. Her latest song Dancing on the stars was released by Andre as an official video and the introductions by Andre and Emma are beautiful.❤️❤️❤️


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