Our Maddie lived a joyful life for 18 years. She loved traveling, spending time with her friends, going to concerts – she loved music of all kinds – she enjoyed dancing, singing loudly, and riding the dirt roads singing with her friends. Maddie grew up spending summers at Lake Martin and loved boating, skiing, and riding wave runners –very fast. She was healthy and very active in high school – cheerleading, running track, and playing softball. She was a very fast runner and an excellent long jumper. Maddie loved helping her friends with their make-up and she enjoyed shopping as much as she enjoyed being in the woods during the Fall in the mud on 4-wheelers and hiking. Maddie was opinioned and didn’t shy away from telling you what she thought. Without hesitation. Big smiles and laughter followed her and her friends.
Even with her cancer diagnosis she ran the race as hard as she could. She never questioned why she had cancer and she always wanted to beat it. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the start of her freshman year at Auburn University in October 2020. Maddie was living her best life. She called home about bad stomach pain and later heard “you have a large mass in your pelvic area…..from hip bone to hip bone,” at the ER following that first CT scan. Both her CA125 and calcium levels were high. Six days later she had surgery to remove her right ovary and fallopian tube – she called her tumor “Earl” – it was 16.5 cm. The pathology report came back with a diagnosis of small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type. Given the reputation in the medical field for the treatment of SCCOHT at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center Hospital, Maddie willingly left her life to go to Cincinnati. Her goal was to beat the cancer. She loved her medical team and the staff at CCHMC. Maddie tested negative for genetic mutations that could possibly cause cancer. She was a model patient – always doing what they asked of her. She even gained over 20 pounds after her initial surgery and chemotherapy treatment started. She did this to get stronger as she prepared for a surgery that wasn’t able to happen. We believe she had the best medical care in the world but sometimes the chemotherapy does not work – after 4 rounds of some tough chemo, her tumor become resistant to the treatment. Other options just did not work. We were able to bring Maddie home for a few days where she was surrounded by her family and friends. Maddie truly showed us what the real definition of courage, bravery, and grace are.
Our precious 18-year-old went to heaven on World Ovarian Cancer Day. We promised Maddie that we would keep her memory alive, to help others know the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to help fund research for better treatment options. Help us with this. This cancer is taking our girls and women – some at a very young age. No parent wants to walk this journey.
Sweet baby girl you always be missed. It is a privilege to love you.