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Gold Ribbon Hero: Madeline

Meet Madeline, a forever 14-year-old DIPG hero.

When morning vomiting, loss of balance and double vision were affecting Madeline’s daily life, her parents took notice. She was able to get an appointment with a neurologist and after ten minutes, the doctor told her parents that she needed to be taken in for an MRI immediately. After six hours in the emergency room, the devastating results were shared, a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) diagnosis. Madeline was then rushed to Children’s National Hospital for further evaluation. 

Madeline went through two rounds of radiation treatment and two separate clinical trials including several high-dose dexamethasone treatments. 

The following excerpt was taken from Madeline’s obituary. “Even though the last 13 months of Madeline’s life were very difficult, her bright light never died, and she stayed positive throughout her journey. After her November 2021 DIPG diagnosis, she underwent brain surgery for a tumor biopsy, received two separate rounds of radiation, and participated in two clinical trials. Ultimately, these efforts were unsuccessful in saving her precious life, and her neurological symptoms worsened shortly before Thanksgiving. 

Despite gradually losing the ability to walk, talk, and write, Madeline remained hopeful and faithful and continued to do many of the things she loved. She was an avid baker of cookies and banana bread, and she was also an excellent artist. In fact, she continued to draw, knit scarves and bags, and make beaded necklaces and bracelets until her hands no longer worked. Madeline loved playing cello, but unfortunately, she could not do that when she started the 2022-2023 school year. However, she began high school via homebound, receiving instruction remotely through Zoom, and she maintained straight A’s.”

Learn more about DIPG by clicking here

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