HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Next week, Madison Graham will have her five-year mark. Not a birthday; an anniversary. Five years without chemotherapy. Five years cancer-free.
Madison is part of a busy Huntersville family, and one of our #MollysKids. She was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor at 5-months-old. She was declared cancer-free after a big surgery, until an abnormality appeared on a scan much later. The cancer had returned, only that time, on Madison’s lung.
Another surgery, followed by six months of chemo declared Madison cancer-free again. That was May 4th, 2015.
“I have dreamed and imagined this day since she was first diagnosed," her mom Jennifer said. "I couldn’t see it. We had three children under the age of 3 and were barely surviving when the diagnosis came out of nowhere.”
Her mom says five years later, her daughter is healthy and strong.
“Over the years, we sort of fell into a routine that revolved around scans and didn’t deviate from that routine," she said. "Scans. Then doctor. Then Target to get a toy. Then lunch or ice cream.”
They waited for the call that all was well. So when Madison’s cancer returned at age 4, that call from her doctor was devastating. At that time, the physician said their new goal was not only to treat her, but to cure her.
Five years later -- well, almost five years later -- all is well.
“Her diagnosis changed us forever. Her diagnosis introduced us to amazing people doing amazing things for children fighting pediatric cancer," Jennifer said. "In a perfect world, she would never know this path. But, this was her plan and I wouldn’t change a thing. She’s beautiful, smart, tough, funny and a survivor. Her diagnosis doesn’t define her, but has shaped her into the beautiful little girl she has become.”
Certainly seems that way from this confident-looking photo. Her strength is jumping out of her smile.
Thanks for the update, Jennifer. Madison is something to celebrate as our world keeps churning.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.