Five-year-old Madison loves princesses, and one day dreams of becoming a princess teacher; teaching princess school in the morning and regular school in the afternoon. Madison loves to keep busy, enjoying swimming, dancing, making crafts, and playing outside. When Madison was two-years-old, she was diagnosed with Severe Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which is a form of Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s is a serious, chronic disease affecting the digestive system. As a result Madison required a total colectomy, which is the surgical removal of the entire large intestine. This disease can be very severe and aggressive and is hard to treat when onset is so early and due to its rarity in infants and toddlers it is difficult to find support and information.
Madison’s disease is so severe that she is unable to reintroduce food and has been tube fed for over 10 months now. Even amidst their battle Madison and her family have stayed positive, appreciating what they have learned from their journey: “Having a child in your family who is incredibly ill makes you appreciate the small things; that smile you haven’t seen in months, the celebration on getting to have a popsicle, the day without pain and even playing in the park. It is something not all families realize is worth such appreciation and I do feel thankful for that,” – Kathy, her mother says. When Madison was referred to Children’s Wish, by her social worker Francine, it was no surprise that this princess in the making chose to go to Disney World for a tea party with her favorite Princess in Pink, Aurora.
Madison’s wish trip gave her the chance to experience and practice what it’s like being a real princess. Madison’s mom explains how the phrase, “Best day ever,” has been exclaimed when referring to each day on their trip. “It gave us something to look forward to, plan for, and focus on. We were so excited and thankful to escape from our general reality,” Kathy says.