Madison's story started on May 17, 2008 at the age of 4. With a trip to the local ER we get sent by squad to Akron Children's hospital and they diagnosed her several days later with Burkitt's Lymphoma. She endured 9 rounds of chemo and numerous surgeries and procedures.Now at age 6, she is currently in remission.
It has been a major roller coaster ride. I was a couple of months pregnant when we found out that Madison had cancer. I could not enjoy the pregnancy and neither could Madison. We spent the majority of May-December of 2008 in the hospital with chemo treatments, fevers, infections, and clinic visits. I wish I had had access to a computer in the hospital room, but we did not own one then. I could have recorded the entire journey for everyone to read. We did not start her Caringbridge journal until a year after she was diagnosed to help keep everyone updated on her condition. Her journal can be read at Caring Bridge.
One of Madison’s favorite things to do while in the hospital (besides bike riding) was to push a shopping cart around the unit filled with crafts that we had bought and stop at other kids rooms to see if they wanted a craft to do. She loved trying to brighten the day of another child. It put a smile on her face.
Madison walked in the Relay For Life event in 2009 and this year she and I are walking in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s event called Light the Night in Akron, Ohio. They help raise money for research and families going through the same things we did. Without their research money, Madison may not be alive today. Her motto for this event is “I may have lost my hair to lymphoma, but not my life”. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of two of her fellow cancer friends who passed away from Leukemia. Kyle was only three weeks away from his fourth birthday when he became an angel. Lydia was five and a half when she got her angel wings. We are trying to raise money for her team for this event so that more kids can have the same chance at life that she has now.
While not considered cured yet, she is doing amazingly well. She started kindergarten this past fall and recently got an award for academic excellence. I am so proud of her for everything she has faced and conquered and for keeping a smile on her face almost the entire time. She has been through things that no child should have to and that is another reason why it is so important to raise money to try and wipe out cancer.
Thank you for reading this post and I thank my cousin, Tyjanna, for writing it. There are several ways that you can help. First, you can donate to Light the Night and help Madison reach and EXCEDE her goal of $250 raised towards cancer awareness and research. Second, you can pray for Madison. It's been 17 months since Madison started treatment and though her mom had hoped to hear that Madison was cured at a doctor's appointment this past Friday, that wasn't the case. Though there isn't any sign of cancer, she is more susceptible to other cancer's now. Third, pray for other children and their families that are facing this same nightmare and that one day soon, a cure will be found.