Hillary wrote this story with the intention of it being printed in the paper, hasn't made it there yet, but could very soon.
What comes to mind when you think of your childhood? Perhaps you think of summer days riding bikes around the neighborhood, or playing superheroes in the backyard. Maybe you were the kid who had the coolest action figures and race cars, or maybe you were the one with the best dress ups and biggest doll collection.
Now imagine a childhood where all that is taken away from you by illness. Imagine a childhood filled with doctor visits instead of bike races, medicine instead of dress ups. Instead of jumping out of bed with the sun to go play with friends you’re lucky if you feel good enough to just sit up in bed. Such a childhood is really no childhood at all, but unfortunately for many children it is their reality.
Life threatening illnesses, such as cancer, heart and organ malfunctions, and sickle cell diseases, are not confined to adults. According to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, there are 13,500 children in the United States diagnosed with cancer every year. Of these 13,500 children, 1 in every 5 will die from the disease.
There are, however, many organizations who are working to help these children find hope and regain their childhood, one such organization is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that, through the work of its 25,000 volunteers, helps brighten the lives of 213,443 children every 40 minutes. They grant wishes ranging from princess tea parties and meeting celebrities to trips to Disneyland. Their mission is to “grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” It is a mission that has touched the lives of countless individuals, and one that they hope to continue.
On behalf of Make-A-Wish, Davis High School’s DECA club is holding a unique fundraising opportunity on November 11, 2011 at 11:11 a.m. in order to raise money to continue granting these life changing wishes. All you have to do is text the words GoMad to 50555 and they will charge an extra $5 to your cell phone bill that will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Some may wonder why the words GoMad were chosen. The reason is because of a 15 year old cancer patient, named Madey. Madey was an active, athletic girl who participated in both softball and basketball. She loved to sing in her school show choir and played the guitar in her free time at home. She was a hard worker, a person who made a difference through her kindness to others. And she is my sister. In January 2010 her days on the court were cut short with the diagnosis of a type of bone cancer in her hip called Ewings Sarcoma. Madey’s life was no longer the life of a normal ninth grader, but the life of a cancer patient.
Her days became filled with doctor visits and chemo treatments. Her hair fell out and she lost her appetite. However, through it all Madey’s attitude remained positive as she continued to fight for her life.
A short time after her diagnosis Madey was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She wished for a trip to Florida to visit the various theme parks with her family. Her dream was to swim with dolphins. In order for her to go, a fundraiser was held by Davis High School’s DECA club. On November 11, 2010 the fundraiser, titled Memories For Madey, brought together three rival high schools who were able to raise over $3,500 within a few minutes. Because of a digital fundraiser that was opened before November 11, over $10,000 was raised on Madey’s behalf for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
However, Madey’s health took a turn for the worse. She passed away in January 2011, leaving behind her a legacy of friendship and courage that would continue to touch the lives of those who knew her.
In memory of Madey, my sister who made a difference, Davis High School’s DECA has titled this year’s fundraiser, GoMad. The money donated will go to help give hope and a bit of fun to children fighting life threatening illnesses around the world through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A childhood governed by illness is a bleak one, but with your help that childhood can become more happy and more hopeful. This November 11 go make a difference, GoMad!
For more information about GoMad and how else you can help, check out their website at www.gomad2011.com.
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