Her ability to be as stubborn as humanly possible is really going to help her in the battle to come. This outgoing, tough little 7-year-old girl dealt with the pain of the beginning stages of Burkitt’s Lymphoma for about 2 weeks before she started showing she was in pain. Our yellow lab Sadie knew something was wrong with Maddie long before any of us did. Sadie has been by all three kids’ side since she was just a puppy. She always knows when something's not right with her kids. Little did we know how bad things were going to get with Maddie.
On Wednesday, November 29th, the Engel family received news that they never wanted to hear. On Tuesday evening, Maddie was taken to the emergency room due to severe stomach pains. They completed a CT scan in which they found a large mass the size of her kidney pressing on the tube that connects the bladder and kidneys. She was then sent to Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Rochester, MN where they did more CT and MRI scans to try and figure out what this large mass was. It was causing Maddie so much pain because it had now grown to be the largest substance in her abdomen. Later Wednesday, Maddie was diagnosed with cancer that was rapidly spreading throughout her entire body. Due to the size of the main tumor in her abdomen, it caused her kidneys to stop working correctly. They decided to start her on dialysis in order to get her kidneys working again. This also ensured that she was able to go to the bathroom on her own and that her kidneys were properly working. After many more tests, Maddie was officially diagnosed with stage 3 Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Chemotherapy was started almost right away after the diagnosis as this type of cancer spreads and grows quickly. However, in the meantime, the tumor was continuously growing and now was pushing up on her diaphragm making it hard for Maddie to breathe on her own. Therefore, she was placed on a ventilator to help her breathe easier and focus more of her energy on fighting this terrible disease. After just one and a half rounds of chemotherapy, Maddie had another CT scan done in which they found the tumor to be shrinking in size already; the first good news in five days.
Although Maddie is already on the road to recovery, we know that there are going to be a tremendous amount of medical bills and long road ahead to get Madilyn back to her happy-go-lucky and ornery self. Both of her parents, Nick and Abby Engel, are not working in order to stay by her side through this scary time. They will have a financially hard time because medical bills add up quickly. We all want this little girl back to her everyday self; they will do anything no matter the cost. Please consider donating to this amazing family and lessen the financial burden and help get Maddie up and running again. Big or small, all donations make a difference and help reach the goal!
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- Camille Orr
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