When typically active Madison stopped using her left arm in July 2018, her parents, Roxanne and Adam, knew something wasn’t right. After almost two months of seeking answers, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) confirmed she had germinoma, a rare form of cancer most commonly found in the brain.
Madison’s journey since then has included three spinal taps, a brain biopsy, 40 overnight hospital stays, four rounds of chemotherapy and 20 radiation treatments. Throughout it all, the smile of this spunky 9-year-old continued to light up a room.
In April, Madison and her family received the long-awaited news from doctors that she is “cancer free.”
Looking back on her journey, Madison reflected on the more memorable parts – including playing games and pranks with her nurses, moving to the front of the roller coaster lines at Kings Dominion (where she rode the Anaconda’s twisting, looping tracks three times), and challenging her favorite medical resident to say a certain word without smiling. Roxanne recalled Madison having “the most decorated hospital room I’ve ever seen,” receiving a cartload of toys, blankets and pillows during her first hospital stay and making multiple visits to the hospital gift shop to buy candy.
Madison said she’s looking forward to “having a big cancer-free party”, returning to the soccer and softball fields, and going back to school to see her friends.
The Martins are also looking forward to supporting the hospital this summer when Madison serves as spokesperson for Anthem LemonAid.
The July 19-21 event invites families, businesses and community organizations to set up lemonade stands and raise money for CHoR’s hematology and oncology program.
It’s free to participate in the event and supplies including lemonade mix, cups, a pitcher, a banner, stickers and sunglasses are provided to every registered participant. It’s also a great way for students to earn volunteer hours for school.
To register for Anthem LemonAid or to learn more about the event, please visit www.AnthemLemonAid.com or call 804-228-5934.