In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, ISF has collaborated with 2x neuroblastoma fighter, Gavin Hill, to spread message of inspiration
Cancer Messed With is designed to support, empower and inspire cancer patients and all those affected by a cancer diagnosis.
DECEMBER, 2019 UPDATE: Madison Fedak passed away from Osteosarcoma on December 21, 2019 at 7 years old. Thank you Madison for your zest for life and for inspiring all of us at the foundation. We only wish we could have done enough in time to help save your life. You will forever be in our hearts as we push forward in your honor.
SEPTEMBER, 2019 UPDATE: Madison and her family learned that her cancer returned when a tumor was found in her lungs.
JULY 2019: Over the past year, Madison was in the deep throes of battling osteosarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer. In that same year, Madison, now age 6, learned to walk again, completed kindergarten, stole the heart of Duff Goldman from Kids Baking Championship and most importantly, beat cancer.
That’s a big list of accomplishments for one little girl.
In 2018, over the course of 3 short days, Madison’s life swiftly changed. It all started with pain in her right leg and completely lost the ability to walk a few days later. After immediately heading in for X-rays after what thought was a possible broken bone, a soft spot was found on her right femur. Immediately taken to Levine Children’s Hospital, Madison was later diagnosed with osteosarcoma in April of 2018 at five years old. This type of cancer is extremely rare and almost unheard of in kids her age The solid tumor discovered took up to about three-fourths of Madison’s adolescent bone.
After several rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor on her femur, she had surgery to remove her right femur and replace it with one from a cadaver. Fortunately, the medical team was able to remove most of the tumor and save both of Madison’s growth plates.
In February 2019, she finished treatment at Levine Children’s and has since had very positive scans showing no cancer! At about the same time of finishing treatment, Madison learned her Wish trip would be granted by Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina Chapter.
Madison and her family just got back from her Make-A-Wish trip to Los Angeles. She didn’t ask to meet Taylor Swift or go to Disney World. She wished to meet Duff Goldman, a silly and bald baker. And what happened? They became best friends of course!
“Duff Goldman by far is the most genuine person alive. Duff and Madison hit it off immediately and she didn’t ever want to leave. One of the sweetest moments was when they got in a mini food fight. Duff covered her chef jacket with chocolate and jam, said you can’t trust a chef with a clean jacket. Madison never wants to wash it!”
Madison and her family enjoyed baking time with Duff, exploring Universal Studios, riding in limos and exploring some of California’s yummy eats. “To think where we were a year ago. The whole trip was surreal. We made some pretty awesome memories that we will never forget, none of us will ever be the same.”
And that’s what Make-A-Wish does, they create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The positive impact wishes give to kids and their families are invaluable.
For the second year, the Isabella Santos Foundation ran an online March fundraiser in honor of what would have been Isabella’s birthday month, that fundraiser directly impacted Madison’s wish trip. Make-A-Wish granted Isabella her wish and gave her the best days of her life as well as giving her family the best memories of theirs. Honoring Isabella’s birthday by providing the same for another cancer fighter is exactly what she would love!
Thank you for supporting the Isabella Santos Foundation, we can’t express enough how much your support inspires us to do more for these cancer warriors and their families. You helped make a little girl’s dream come true and it will be something that will stay with her forever.
Photos of Madison’s Wish Trip:
Full blog article on The Untamed Mind
“Dyson and all the kids I have had the opportunity to meet
KJ Brent, then a local high school footballer and family friend, was only 18 years old when Isabella passed away. KJ and his family attended her Celebration of Life and something moved in him that moment forward… and that something hasn’t stopped.
KJ went on to play football in college and the NFL. He is currently a Wide Receiver with the Tampa Bay Buccanears , is married to his high school sweetheart and continues to find ways to give back and impact kids fighting cancer. We are so proud of the positive role model he has come to be and love that he feels just as much lift from these little heroes fighting for their lives.
His latest blog brought us to tears. To watch a young man reach for his dreams and want to help kids fighting cancer do the same… well, it’s simply just awesome. You can’t teach heart and this guy has boatloads of it. Read K.J.’s blog article.