Maddie was a vibrant young lady who had the world in her hands. She had just started her senior year in high school, was dual enrolled in college, had a part-time job, and volunteered at the hospital weekly. In October 2018, she started running an abnormally high fever and after several trips to the doctor, she was sent to the hospital where she was diagnosed with Acute ALL Leukemia.
Our world was turned upside down. Maddie and I had to leave immediately to go to Tampa while her brother and her dad were left in Melbourne to take care of things at home. It was difficult for all of us to be apart while we were going through so much. When we did not think things could get worse, she had a complication with one of the chemotherapy drugs and developed a blood clot in her brain, and had a stroke. She was transferred to Tampa General where she needed emergency surgery to remove the clot. I am happy to say that she fought hard and has recovered from her stroke and completed her last Leukemia treatment on April 24th and is cancer-free!
We could not have made it through without everyone’s support, especially Candlelighters of Brevard. Living in Tampa, traveling to Tampa, and not being able to work all posed a financial burden to us on top of worrying about our daughter. Candlelighters provided the right support at the right time! We will forever be grateful for the support they gave us during the most difficult time in our lives! Maddie is now back in college at UCF working on a major in Health Sciences. She has a passion for helping others like she was helped! This journey has taught us to be present in the moment, take each day as it comes, and treasure what really matters – the people we love!