Madison Wigen is much like many other ten-year-old girls. She loves horses, has an insatiable appetite for reading, takes her responsibility as a role model for her younger sister very seriously and has a youthfully-optimistic outlook on life. She believes that the world is a beautiful place that is full of good people. If you know her, you know that her quietly-hopeful personality is as inspiring as it is contagiousness.
Unlike many ten-year-olds, though, Madison was recently diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), a chronic illness of the autonomic system. Though the syndrome manifests itself differently from case to case, making both diagnosis and treatment all the more troubling, it affects bodily functions that aren’t under direct conscious control, namely breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature and digestion. Essentially, in Madison’s case, her blood vessels don’t constrict properly when she sits or stands up, limiting the amount of blood that reaches her brain, and leading to dizziness and fainting (think of working in the sun, being hot and under-hydrated, and standing up to find yourself incredibly dizzy). The heart then races violently (think of miniature heart attacks) to compensate. As her body constantly plays a game of cat and mouse, exerting almost all of its energy to perform the most basic functions, Madison is frequently fatigued and plagued with intense headaches. The New York Time's article 'Ailment Can Steal Youth From the Young' is a great resource for explaining the affects of POTS on children like Madison. Read it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/health/18brody.html?_r=1&
So, with a body that can’t quite figure out how to perform the most basic tasks properly, hospital trips have sadly become a regular and routine part of her day-to-day life as a ten-year-old girl. And, sadly, her parents’ insurance isn’t covering the expenses of her visits required to continue to diagnose and treat the syndrome. Both of her parents, whose work ethics are second only to each other’s, work full time (her father, Travis, as the owner and operator of a horse training business, and her mother, Melissa, as veterinary sales specialist for an animal health and nutrition company), but her medical bills just keep accumulating as she deals with this still much-misunderstood illness.
As a close family friend of the Wigens for more than a decade, and very proudly Madison’s honorary uncle, I’ve ridden out quite a few of life’s bad rides with their support. As a family, they’re the first to offer help, but also the last to ask for it. With that said, I’ve set up this GoFundMe campaign to help offset their rapidly growing mountain of medical bills. Please, join me in giving Madison a reason to continue to believe in the inherent goodness of people, and her parents some much-needed and appreciated relief during this incredibly trying time.
With utmost sincerity,
DonationsSee top donations
- Preston Lowe
- Russell Burraston
- Christina Herzoff
- Matt and Karen Mills
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more