Rare brain cancer spurs 'Fight for Maddie' campaign

Print
Email
|

by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on January 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 15 at 12:01 AM

FORT WORTH — There was an outpouring of community support in Fort Worth Saturday for a four-year-old girl battling a rare brain cancer.

The event took place at 7th Haven, where there was a silent auction, raffle, and bake sale — part of the effort to help parents on medical leave from their jobs to fight for Maddie Higgins.

Maddie was diagnosed a week before Christmas with a very rare brain cancer called Glioblastoma multiforme.

"We will never give up hope," said the girl's grandmother, Brenda Holliday. "It's a very... most aggressive form of brain cancer. Of course we are scared, but we also feel very blessed that we've been given this forum."

A giant bake sale raised awareness of pediatric brain tumors, the leading cancer in children. Money raised here will help Maddie's parents with mounting medical bills as their baby girl battles this Stage IV cancer.

"It's overwhelming, just to know that people care, and just to know we can help all these other children who are going through the same thing," said Maddie's mom, Melanie Higgins.

A little girl named Ariana who has her own health issues contributed $100 to Maddie's fund on Saturday.

Six-year-old Josephine was diagnosed with the same type of brain cancer as Maddie when she was one. As a survivor, she still gets brain scans every three months.

"We want to spread hope and let her know she can beat this, too," said Victoria Alaya, Josephine's mother.

It's a message of hope for Maddie, who was acting a little shy on camera Saturday. Off-camera, she is very talkative and the life of the party... the way her family wants to keep it.

"She's just an outgoing articulate angel," Maddie's mom said. "She's my angel."

"Every little bit helps, gives us hope, helps keep us strong, and helps Maddie fight her fight," added grandmother Brenda Holliday.

Maddie is being treated at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. Any money left over after the fundraiser once medical bills are paid will be contributed towards research. Currently, only 3 percent of pediatric research is devoted to brain tumors.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|