Maddie died yesterday. Maddie was a 10 year old girl from Florida battling Osteosarcoma. Maddie was just a few weeks older than Conner and diagnosed around the same time last year. Maddie is the reason we went to Cleveland to meet with Dr. Anderson. Maddie was not responding to standard first line treatment for OS and her doctors in Florida told her parents they were sending her home and her parents needed to set up hospice. Like all parents, Maddie's parents said they wanted to keep fighting so they took her to Cleveland to continue the battle with Dr. Anderson's help. We met Maddie and her mom when we went to Cleveland. They were sitting right there in the waiting room when we walked in and I just started crying. I knew it was meant to be that the girl I prayed for every night was sitting there with her mom looking like she was winning the fight. Through tears, I introduced myself and told her we were in Cleveland to meet Dr. Anderson because of her, because she was still fighting and Dr. Anderson was helping her fight. Maddie isn't a stranger that I read about who died from Osteosarcoma. I met Maddie. I hugged Maddie. Maddie's mom gave me her phone number. We were going to get together in February.
Maddie won't get to experience puberty and boys. Maddie won't get to sneak out and be late for curfew. Maddie won't get to go to prom or her first college party. Maddie won't get to get married and have babies and finally realize what unconditional love truly is....Maddie died. Maddie died and I am so very sad. My heart breaks for her parents. I wanted Maddie to get her miracle so bad. I prayed for Maddie to get her miracle every night.
Please take a few minutes today and pray for Maddie and her family. Pray that we find a cure for this horrific disease that seems unstoppable. I know there is lots of loss and despair in this world and people everywhere are hurting, but today I want to be selfish and I want to be sad for Maddie and for all the kids fighting cancer. Although, all those kids, including Maddie, would roll their eyes and tell you there is nothing to be sad about and to stop crying.
Conner is doing really well and we are still fighting. Just like Maddie and her family, we are blessed with lots of love, prayers and support. Conner had an amazing Christmas thanks to the loving friends we have in Oak Ridge. We have three more chemo treatments that will take us through February and then we will go to Cleveland for an experimental combination of Stereotactic Radiation and Chemo.
We love all of you. Thank you for reminding us each day that we are truly blessed, even when we are sad or overwhelmed or scared.
Casey, Bryan, Conner