Rally Kid Madison started developing a severe ear infection in July of 2020. The pediatrician diagnosed it as swimmers’ ear and prescribed ear drops. A few days went by with no improvement and eventually, the side of her face started to hurt as well. Madison’s parents took her back to the doctor, where they said she had facial cellulitis and put her on a strong antibiotic. That didn’t work, either, and at that point, Madison was becoming lethargic and losing her appetite.

By Monday, Madison felt so weak that she couldn’t walk, so it was off to urgent care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. After several blood tests and a CT scan, they found a cancerous tumor in her nasal pharynx. The following day, she was diagnosed with Burkitt leukemia. Ninety-five percent of her bone marrow was cancerous and it had spread all over her body. The day after her diagnosis, she had a bone marrow biopsy, tumor biopsy, chest port implant and a spinal tap. During her first two rounds of chemo, she developed multiple complications and was in the ICU at one point after developing typhlitis. She is now in round four of intense chemo treatments and has two more to go!

Not being able to see her siblings while in the hospital or her friends has been emotionally challenging. Keeping up with school has been very hard, too, as Madison is never up for doing school work when she’s going through treatments and dealing with the complications that come along with it. On her live school meetings, she’s not comfortable with kids seeing her without hair, either—although her parents just got her a new wig in hopes that she’ll feel more confident with it on.

Madison currently has six rounds of intense chemo to go that require her to stay in the hospital for each round. After she was diagnosed on August 3, she stayed in the hospital until the first week of September. Her oncologist expected complications after the first two rounds along with the fitfth. Each round so far she has had a lengthy stay though.

Before cancer, Madison enjoyed things like arts and crafts, playing outside with friends, bike riding and swimming. She was also set to start ice skating lessons, but since her diagnosis, she hasn’t been able to see any of her friends or do the normal activities she enjoyed doing outside before.

 

Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.

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