HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - I love seeing what four months of hair growth looks like on Madison Graham.
Madison is 4. She has a twin sister and an older sister. Her busy mom wrote from their home in Huntersville.
"I felt compelled to reach out," Jennifer said. "No child should have to go through what these kids go through. I want you to know these stories are being read."
I want Jennifer to know I sincerely appreciate her email… and am about ready to jump through the computer and hug her daughter in a tight squeeze. I love the smile and the dress and how happy she appears.
In 2011, Madison was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor at 5-months-old.
"Devastating. Life-altering. A never-forget-it day," says Jennifer. "We ended up having her left kidney removed. Later she was officially declared cancer-free. We were told there was a slim chance it would return, so, honestly, I really didn't worry about it too much."
Then, October 24th of last year, Jennifer got the call a spot had been found on Madison's lung.
That turned into surgery and six months of chemo. Madison finished it in May of this year. Once again, Madison has been declared cancer-free.
"We are amazed at her strength," Jennifer said. "She never complained! It's chemo. It's poison. And she never complained once."
Jennifer says she doesn't know what the future holds, but she does know this:
"Now that I am a parent of a child who HAD cancer, I can tell you awareness and research are vital. We need less toxic treatments and a cure. We were told we were 'lucky' because Madison's type of cancer is receptive to chemo and has been one of the ones that's well-researched. That made no sense to me at the time… but as we have gone down this path, my eyes have been opened. Twenty years ago, Madison's cancer probably would've killed her. But now she's a 'lucky' cancer patient."
The email almost seemed to pause before Jennifer continued…
"Research is key. Funding is key. You're right – please keep telling people to do what they can."