From the Stratford stage to a hospital bed, Madison’s cancer struck unexpectedly and put her acting career on hold.
In 2007, while starring in To Kill a Mocking Bird at the Stratford Festival, Madison began to suffer from severe back pain and exhaustion. SickKids specialists diagnosed Madison with leukemia.
After three years of treatment at SickKids, Madison completed her final dose of chemotherapy. Today, at the age of 14, she is active in the theatre community and has several major performances under her belt. She does a lot of fundraising for The Hospital for Sick Children and speaks on behalf of SickKids as a Patient Ambassador.
Watch Madison’s SickKids story and meet six other young patients in the CTV special two-hour broadcast of Believing in Heroes. Tune in on Saturday, December 24, from 8 to 10 a.m. to follow the stories of courage and strength while these children and their families face serious illness.
To donate during the show, please visit sickkidstv.com or call our toll free number: 1-877-310-5437.
Here is a preview of Madison’s story:
If you cannot see the video, please watch it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbTTJNtXiro&list=UUleVfdmpkf7H5tnRRw7n39A&index=40&feature=plcp
Alex, 14, has been a patient of The Hospital for Sick Children since the day he was born. Having celebrated last Christmas as an inpatient, he understands the difficulties families face being in hospital over the holidays. For that reason, he decided to spread some holiday cheer to children like him at SickKids this December.
Alex was born with a lifelong condition called spina bifida. He requires the assistance of a wheelchair to get around and spends a lot of time at SickKids. In fact, he has been an inpatient since September with complicated bed sores. To keep himself occupied, Alex, aka DJ Skinnzy, has taken advantage of this time and transformed his hospital bed into a studio to produce music. A YouTube tutorial on DJ-ing piqued his interest a few years ago and he has been mixing music ever since.
“Music helps me stay positive,” Alex said. “It’s a nice break between treatments and it makes me feel good to see other kids enjoy the mixes I put together.”
His most recent playlist was created for a holiday launch event for the SickKids Winter Lounge presented by Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
The Winter Lounge opened its doors to patients and families on December 15 in the SickKids Atrium, featuring entertainment by DJ Skinnzy. In addition to three decorated holiday trees, the space is filled with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (including Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and west elm) couches, chairs and children’s furniture. It is illuminated by strings of lights and paper snowflakes to create a winter wonderland inside the Hospital walls for families to enjoy. At the end of the holidays, the furniture will be auctioned off with proceeds going to SickKids Foundation.
“I think the Lounge is the most amazing idea,” Alex said. “A lot of families can’t leave the Hospital during this time of year, so it gives them a place outside their hospital rooms to relax and escape from the machines and tubes.”
When home, Alex volunteers his time to give tutorials to other children interested in mixing their own music. He strongly believes in the healing power of music and aspires to turn his passion for DJ-ing into a future career.
But for now, his family and medical team are preparing to get him home by next week – just in time for the holidays.
Does your Uncle Charlie already have everything? Is Aunt Sally impossible to shop for? Are you running out of time to get your holiday shopping wrapped up?
SickKids Get Better Gifts has your back.
With a full online catalogue of items to choose from at a wide-range of price points, there is a SickKids Get Better Gift for everyone on your list.
Give A Stocking Surprise and you could help fill a bedside stocking stuffed with toys, crayons, teddy bears and toys for a patient at the Hospital over the holidays.
A Holiday Meal for a Family could provide a festive meal complete with linens and decorations for patients and their families.
By giving A Wish List, you could help brighten a child’s otherwise difficult hospital stay with an item from their holiday wish list to Santa.
Know that with every gift you give, you are supporting the most critical needs at The Hospital for Sick Children. And don’t fret about your traditional card not making it in time. With SickKids Get Better Gifts you can select an e-card or PDF card, too!
SickKids Get Better Gifts are great to give and even better to receive. Visit the online catalogue now to get started.