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Madisen B., SuperSib

Madisen is a senior in high school and a compassionate and caring sister. As the Associated Student Body President, she wants all students to feel cared about during this time of distance learning. She values helping others through community volunteering because she appreciates how much her family has been helped during her brother, Miles's treatment.  

Madisen’s parents thought she had always been a responsible and mature child, but she really stepped up when Miles was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She provided huge emotional support to both Miles and her youngest sister, Marlaina, who was only 4 at the time. Despite struggling with worry, anxiety, anger and grief, her parents are proud that she did her best to support everyone through this experience by keeping what was important central to their lives: one another.  

Madisen not only became a SuperSib, but a “Super Daughter.” While Miles and a parent were away for long periods at the hospital, Madisen, who was just 15 years old, would play with and read to Marlaina, help with meals and bedtimes, and perform housework. When Miles was home, she would cuddle with him, watch movies and play with Nerf toys to make him laugh. She earned her driver's license the day she turned 16 so she could support her family by driving to the grocery store, taking Marlaina to preschool, and help Miles with chemotherapy trips. Simultaneously, she kept up her grades and continued playing basketball. She was involved at every level, and her mom believes it has all made her value health, life and family more, and feels this experience has helped her become more understanding and compassionate to others. 

Madisen’s family received support from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s (ALSF) Travel For Care program during this time. Miles’s hospital was six hours away from their home, and they would have to drive back and forth twice a week. With the expensive cost of gas, they started to consider other options. But then a gas card from ALSF allowed Miles to recover from chemotherapy treatments in the comfort of his own home with his family together. 

Family, school, sports and volunteering through the leadership program at school have all helped Madisen keep her mind busy through nearly three years of her brother’s treatment. ALSF’s SuperSib program has also delighted Madisen and Marlaina, who often felt left out when Miles received gifts and cards from well-wishers. The girls always looked forward to mail that was just for them.

Everyone has their challenges and obstacles that they have had to overcome. Miles's diagnosis and long treatment made us all closer as a family, and one thing I have learned is to find the fun moments and hold on to them when times are tough. - Madisen

Information provided by: 

Jennifer, Madisen’s mom