“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
— Mother Teresa
Today I have the honor of sharing Madelyn with all of you. Madelyn may just be an almost six year old, but she is extraordinary.
At four years old she was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. Juvenile Arthritis is not just a pint sized version of adult arthritis. Roughly 300,000 children under the age of 16 have Juvenile Arthritis. These children experience fevers, joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Symptoms can be as severe as, “muscle and soft tissue tightening, bone erosion, joint misalignment and changes in growth patterns.” [Kidsgetarthritistoo.org] The children that suffer from Juvenile Arthritis are incredibly strong and Madelyn is no exception. While she currently shows no symptoms of JA it is never really gone and flare ups can happen throughout her life.
Madelyn is not only is a hero because of her strength and positive attitude as she received treatment and endured symptoms; she also participated in the 2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis to help raise money for a cure for herself and others. This photo of her from the walk is one of my favorites that her mom shared on her Facebook Page.
I had the honor of meeting Madelyn this week as I delivered her gift. She was gracious, kind, and full of energy. It was a pure delight to be able to bring her some holiday cheer and get the chance to spend a few minutes with her. She loves pink, Disney Princess, and liked showing my kids her Elf on the Shelf. While the kids played, Madelyn’s mom talked about how in awe she was of her daughter’s strength.
Maddie the world is a better place with you in it and you do so much for such a little girl. You are definitely one of my heroes.
Wishing you continued good health sweet Madelyn and a very Merry Christmas,
The Cheer Squad
If you want to learn more about JA you can visit the sites listed below and even donate to the 2015 Walk to Cure Arthritis.
Information about upcoming events – participation and donating: http://www.arthritis.org/california/?gclid=CNH8hanjzsICFeURMwodPB0A_w
More information about Juvenile Arthritis: http://www.kidsgetarthritistoo.org/