I've been teaching teenagers for 21 years. I've lost family members, students, and classmates, but this sweet girl is different. I never knew when I signed up for homebound teaching that I would form the bond like I did with sweet Miss Madi. After her passing, my own dad said, "This girl must be different." Yes. She. Was! I struggle to even begin to put into words what Madi meant to myself, her classmates, and teammates. I have coached some of my favorite kids. I've taught some awesome kids. This was different! Madi had a heart of gold and had huge dreams and aspirations! Madi had dreams of volunteering at Riley to help other kids that struggle through various diagnoses through their treatment. She was adamant that she wanted to receive an Academic Honors Diploma even if she couldn't physically be at school every day. She did everything in her power to make sure she was on track to do that. She would text me questions/concerns all the time. My response was usually "Don't worry! We will figure it out!" I can imagine that this most likely made Madi a little anxious because she wanted her ducks in a row with her graduation pathway plan. Madi and I shared a love for food and would often talk about food when I would be at her house helping her with her schoolwork. We were often focused on schoolwork but also chatted about other things going on--treatment plans, change of classes to accommodate treatments, future plans, what sounded good for dinner, etc. I miss Madi's sweet smile. I miss Madi's infectious laughter. She could light up a room with her smile or her cute giggles. I miss Madi as a freshman learning algebra in my classroom and navigating high school for the first time. I miss Madi doing schoolwork at home trying to bust her butt to receive an Academic Honors Diploma while receiving chemo. I miss Madi after her stem cell transplant and her optimism of returning to school, rifles, volleyball, and working at Jiffy Treet. I miss talking to Madi about what she planned on doing once she was completely cleared to return to all normal activities. I. MISS. MADI.
I coach girls. It can be immensely fun and rewarding. I get a chance to build relationships that last for a lifetime. It can also be a major drag as any coach of females will tell you. They are hypersensitive, hormonal, and stubborn. In my twenty years of coaching the Miner Kadets, I have seen my share of eye rolls. However, in 2016 I met a young woman who so profoundly different, it was almost too good to be true. Madi tried out for the rifle team during the spring of her 8th grade year. She was a seemingly quiet girl, focused and poker-faced. Of course, her talent and dedicated work ethic were more than enough to qualify her for a spot on the team, but it was her performance quality that won over the coaches and me. When it came time to perform during try-outs, her poker face lit up, and she turned on the charm. I simply could not wait to have the chance to coach her when the summer arrived. True to our first impression of Madi, she remained focused and determined. Learning how to spin a rifle is trickier than people realize, and guard members can often become easily discouraged. I can honestly never remember a time when she allowed herself to be taken over by negativity, a quality that would prove the strength of her character as she fought for her life just one year later. No matter the challenge we put in front of her, Madi welcomed the challenge ad put on her brave face. Our guard instructor from Texas, Bucky Flores, said, "I remember she was always super enthusiastic and eager to learn the crazier tricks on rifle. I feel like her excitement for rifle made the other kids enthusiastic as well.” Even when Madi returned from the hospital and was in remission but was very weak, she attended band camp. This was during the summer of her sophomore year, and although I was thrilled to have her there, I could tell that she was worn down. It broke my heart because all through Madi's freshman year and into her sophomore season, I grew more and more excited to have Madi as a senior one day. She would have made an exceptional captain, and it's still something that I think about at each performance. She loved the team, and we loved her. Her teammates, her coaches, and I miss her amazing laugh, her inspiring faith, and her perfect combination of light-hearted goofiness, and laser-sharp focus. As we move forward, may we honor your memory in everything that we do. Thank you for being the person that a coach can look up to.
Madi, my sweet, beautiful granddaughter! You were and are so beautiful inside and out! Words cannot describe how I feel about you! What a beautiful shining light you were to everyone who knew you!!! You are a wonderful Christian lady. I saw how you just kept growing closer and closer to God until you just glowed! When I was with you, I saw Jesus in you! This Mamaw is and was so proud! Madi, I miss your sweet laugh, your text messages early in the morning telling me to have a great day and late at night to say you love me and goodnight. I remember so many things like our trip to Florida and walking early in the morning on the beach. I'll miss trips to Minneapolis and how you were so hard to sleep with and would kick me every time...and how I made you mad because I snored so loudly! I remember you riding around with me in the car and how we would roll down the windows and turn up the music so loud playing Chris Tomlin music! You told me "Awake My Soul" was one of your favorites. I remember and miss the times you and I had Bible study together. I miss watching you play volleyball and how you enjoyed it so much> I remember the first time I heard you sing by yourself and how you had such a beautiful voice. You love your family so much! I remember when you were young you looked up to Kennedy so much and wanted to have everything she had just like a big sister. She used to hate that back then. LOL. You love your friends too and prayed for them. And you especially love your dear momma! You also looked up to Gregg. He was a great stepdad to you! You loved your brother Brady and really missed him when he left for college. When you were little you and the other grandkids would stay all night and make tents in the living room and then wake up and have cocoa and toast. You always asked for that. So many many memories! I miss you and love you so much Madi! Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and just want to hear your beautiful voice and see that infectious smile. I'm sad because I can't see you right now, but I guess that's maybe selfish on my part because I know without a doubt that you are happier than you have ever been right there in the arms of Jesus in Heaven where there is no more pain or sadness! So, I long for the day I will see you again and you are united with us all in Heaven. We'll have a great reunion there in Heaven with Mamaw 'Geeky' and "Gramps' and Jesus. I'm sure you are doing your favorite things like shopping and playing with all the kiddos there. You love little kids so much. Until we meet again my "sweet pea" I will always love you forever and forever!!
Stacey Woodburn (Stem Cell Doctor)-
What an honor and privilege it has been to have taken care of Mad. As one of her stem cell transplant team members, I had the privilege of caring for her throughout her transplant course both in the inpatient and outpatient setting. During her hospitalization, Madi always had a smile on her face. She never complained and always approached life with such grave and beauty. Throughout her complicated course, she never focused on her illness or limitations. She was always concerned and focused on her illness or limitations. She was always concerned and focused on how she could help other patient's going through cancer treatment and transplant. Her strength and courage were such a testament to her faith. She most certainly was one of kind, a rare jewel who has taught us all so much on the importance of life and what truly matters. Her positive attitude and never give up mentality is most certainly one we can all learn from. Madi girl, thank you for all you have taught us. Until we meet again. Much Love
Scott and Corianne Vanderkolk-
Madi was a perfect example of faith, grace, kindness, love, are, humanity, and everything else you can hope to encompass yourself and instill in your children, Madi has impacted our lives more in the last 5 years than we would have ever imagined when meeting her on that volleyball court as a 7th grader. Madi had become an athlete that day and would never look behind her from that point on. We could go on and on about Madi and the person she was, or we could challenge you. Madi's goal was to always reach out to people and make a mark on their life. We want to continue that for her so here is your challenge: Parents, raise your children like Madi. Instill in them 3 simple characteristics: kindness, passion, respect. Students, be a student more like Madi. Make good choices in the classroom. Set lofty, attainable goals. Set the bar high for yourself and strive for nothing but the best. Athletes, look up to athletes like Madi and be an athlete like Madi. Work hard and persevere. Never put yourself before your team. Love the game, love you team.
Madi was a fighter, a princess, a warrior, an angel, and my cousin. There will never be enough words to describe the impact Madi has had on my life or continues to have in the lives of others. She was my first little sister, but even though I'm older, she taught me so much about life, myself, and my Christian faith. She is the strongest person I've ever known and never complained about anything, she was always optimistic even when things weren't looking good. I love you forever Madi and I know your light will continue to shine bright.
After 43 years I was God-lead to move back to my hometown, the very roots and foundation where my family still remain! Madi is my family!! I was able to really experience who she was; a young lady madly in love with God and her life mirrored that image. I was able to not only see and feel that, but to share personal company with her sharing in her spirit, character, and her perseverance!! I am currently studying "The Covenants". I love in Colossians it speaks about "Putting on Christ", chosen ones, holy, and beloved, compassion, kindnesses, humility, meekness, and patience. He says to "put on" character that reflects your new identity! That describes sweet Madi. I am so grateful to God and her for allowing me to be part of that close and personal witness! Love and miss you Ms. Madi - see you soon!
Madi was an exceptional young lady. She did her best in everything she was involved in. She was a Christian and lived her life that way. She was a very sweet girl and everyone in her family loves her and misses her very much. Love you Madi!
Heather Sciscoe and Family-
My family and I met Madi at church one night when we attended a prayer night for kids who have been diagnosed with illnesses. She instantly caught my eye, being sick and fragile herself, in need of pray. Madi never stopped smiling all night and prayed for each kid in the church (even ones who were not sick). My family and I instantly fell in love with her. Her beautiful smile lit up the room, her warm and loving heart never failed to tell us she loved us every chance she had. Knowing Madi was a blessing, she taught my family what real faith is. We have seen her in so much pain and so sick and fragile, still lift her hands to praise God. Madi will forever be a huge inspiration in our lives. When life gets rough, we praise God, look up and remember we are Madistrong.
Erika Stewart (Riley Nursing Staff)-
Madi was such a joyful light. She always smiled and laughed. Brave no matter what she faced! With everything she went through, I never saw her cry. Her strength, compassion, and kind heart stood out. Every night she was waiting for me to get to work, so excited to hangout and be my shadow. From the minute I walked onto the unit till I put her to bed, she was by my side having a blast. I did anything I could to make her happy and distract her from the long days in the hospital. I was always excited to see her as well, her sweet heart, and the way she cared for others should have rubbed off on me. She touched everyone's heart that she met. We are all better people for knowing her!
About four years ago my family decided we needed to find a new church. We started attending Cornerstone Church in Switz City. Not only did we find a church that exceeded our expectations, but we found a family. Tera was more than just the pastor’s wife to me. She became like a sister someone I can confide in and trust wholeheartedly. Then I started to build a relationship with her daughter Madi. She became like a little sister to me. She knew she could tell me anything, she trusted me, and I trusted her. When my daughter was born, Madi became like a big sister to Hayven. Madi would babysit her so I could go get my nails done or just simply to get my house tidied up. Hayven loved Madi so much! She began to really look up to Madi. When Hayven would walk into the church, she would run to Madi for huts and by Madi is where she wanted to stay. Madi loved Hayven like she was her own. I don't trust many people looking after my children, but I knew with Madi she was safe, loved, and would be well taken care of. Madi and I took many drives together and had many talks. We talked about everything from boys to Jesus. I never thought someone half my age could teach me so much! She is the definition of true beauty! Madi is kind, compassionate, giving, selfless, loving, funny, sweet, gentle, and most of all beautiful. But above all of that, she was a dedicated Christian. She made me want to have that fire and passion for Christ that she had, and I owe her a thank you for every day of my life. I may not have told her enough, but I love you Madi and thank you for being the amazing, beautiful girl that you were. Hayven wants to be just like Madi and if she turns out to be half the young woman Madi was I would be more than happy! Thank you for the memories. We love you and we miss you!
Madi was the best thing that ever happened to me. We were inseparable. If I was ever home from anything I was sure to get a text saying, "Sis do you want to stay the night"? The memories we have most may never know, but I will cherish them forever because Madi was a God sent gift to me. I needed a best friend, and she gave me every part of that. She was my sister, and she was my world. Madi brought me to church with her for the first time in November of 201 and less than a month later I was saved and my life flipped upside down in such a positive way because of her and Gods sweet touch. Nothing in this world will ever give me my Madi again but I will never let go of her. She is always with me and I always talk to her. When I found out Madi was sick I was devastated. I had been sleeping 16 hours a day and wouldn’t eat. Depression hit hard but I never once made her feel alone or like I didn't want to help her fight. Madi made me a better human and a better Christian. I would do anything to go back and tell her I love her one more time, but since I can't I have to keep pushing every day for her and for what her hopes and dreams were.
I have had the greatest pleasure of knowing this young lady for five years, and what a difference she made in our lives. She could walk into the house and at the worst of times cheer me up with her most caring heart, her cute little laugh or that big, beautiful smile of hers. One of the many great things about this young lady was how she brought God into the lives of my two daughters. Yes of course they believed in God, and they would occasionally go to church now and then, not like they should have. Until they met this very special young lady five years ago, the most amazing person. Her name is Madi Moore. My goodness how things changed when Madi became such a huge part of our lives. They were inseparable. She had asked my daughters to go to church with her one time and from that moment on, they never missed a Wednesday night or Sunday night service. She truly changed their lives completely. Madi stayed many nights at my house as she became part of our family. On this particular night, my youngest daughter had went to take her shower when Madi came in where I was sitting and sat on my lap, and do you know at fifteen years old this young lady was talking to me about God. She sat there with me for a while and she looked at me and said, “Maria, you need to be saved, now is the time.” I went to bed that night crying and thought how this young lady had just touched my heart like no other. I have admired that precious child since that day. What an Inspiration you are to me Madison. Thank you God for bringing this child into our lives and forever changing our lives I will be forever blessed.
Madi was an inspiration. Even though our battles were different, and generations separated us, I appreciated her support and love while I battled breast cancer, and she battled Leukemia. Her thoughtfulness and generosity to share scarves and wraps with me while we rocked our bald scalps will never be forgotten. She was beautiful inside and out. She shined with the love of Christ and was a witness for Him in so many ways.
Mads and I always had a bond. She said she always looked up to me, but for the last couple years I've looked up to her for her strength and hope. We had the craziest times together and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her and miss her. I know now that she's looking down on us with her resilient smile and helping guide us on the right path in life. I love and miss you forever buttercup.
I will always remember Sunday lunches at the Front Porch with Madi and the rest of our family. Family was important to her, and she showed it in so many ways. She always supported and cheered for the teams I coached. I will never forget Madi being there for my state championships and celebrating with us all. I am so glad my son, Elliot, was able to get to spend time with her and play with her. I know even at his young age he was impacted by her love. The love she showed us all was the same love she had for Jesus. Madi's impact is impossible to measure, and she will never be forgotten.
When I think of Madi, I instantly see that smile. She was precious and sweet. I remember her dancing and acting goofy - reminding us all of how much fun we should have in life and that we should enjoy every minute. She was a light for Christ that will continue to burn even though she has returned to her Heavenly Father. She inspired me more than she could have ever imagined. I will never forget her!!
I will remember Madi as being a quiet, sweet young lady whose smile and laugh could brighten up a room. She was slow to warm up to others, but I have fond memories of fun family game evenings. I knew of her determination and drive after watching her practice volleyball in the yard. She proved her ability to persevere and fight during her battle with cancer. She is greatly missed but definitely made her mark on this world. I am better for knowing her.
Madi was my step niece, she was such a joy in our family, her smile would light up the room. She was such a competitor, she hated to lose. I'm so glad that she is in heaven today for she was a great example of being a Christian while here on earth Loved her so much!