This month has been a whirlwind for the Strader family because, on July 11th, 2023, 13-month-old Maddie was diagnosed with an ependymoma, a type of brain tumor. She's in the fight of her young life, but she isn't alone. Family, friends, and the community have banded together to provide financial and emotional support. Meet the family, find out how to donate, say a prayer, and send a card of encouragement. #MightyMaddie

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I can't even imagine the turmoil this family is going through. I'm sure they feel frustrated, shocked, scared, and overwhelmed following Maddie's diagnosis. These feelings are normal and won't go away for a long time. Luckily, they'll be surrounded by family, friends, and the community every step of the way.

Exhale Photography in Newburgh
Exhale Photography in Newburgh
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THE DIAGNOSIS AND NEXT STEPS

A routine trip to the emergency room for possible dehydration turned into a devasting diagnosis for Maddie. After long grueling hours of waiting, they got the news no parent ever wants to hear. She was immediately flown to Riley Children's Hospital, where they found a tumor near her brainstem. Maddie has brain cancer. At that moment, their entire world was turned upside down.

Maddie initially went to a local emergency room with vomiting and signs of dehydration, but a CT scan performed the next day showed that she had blood in her brain. On 7/11, she was flown to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis and had surgery to place an external ventricular drain to relieve the pressure in her head. Following this procedure, an MRI was done to find the source of the bleeding. At this time, they found a tumor near her brainstem.

Strader Family/CANVA
Strader Family/CANVA
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Maddie underwent brain surgery to remove what they could. Unfortunately, due to the tumor location, which is right next to her brain stem, they had to leave some of it untouched.

Luckily, the tumor was discovered early because Collin and Abby Strader were proactive about her health. Now, the family will go to St. Jude Children's Hospital on Sunday to see what comes next. The family will stay strong and cope with whatever lies ahead while asking us to open our hearts to pray for Maddie.

Exhale Photography in Newburgh
Exhale Photography in Newburgh
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GOFUNDME ACCOUNT WAS SET UP TO HELP THE FAMILY

While Collin and Abby focus on Maddie's care, their responsibilities at home don't stop. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help ease the financial burden for the family. They're already under enough stress and anxiety.

Maddie has a long road ahead, and fundraising is being done to ease the financial burden on her family with upcoming travel for doctor's visits, hospital stays, and other associated costs. Any donations are greatly appreciated. If you're unable to donate, please share! If you pray, please pray. If not, just send some positive vibes out into the universe for this sweet girl. She is so full of life and so loved, and with your help, we will help her kick this thing.

Exhale Photography in Newburgh
Exhale Photography in Newburgh
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The support we've received from everyone has been humbling. From family and friends to complete strangers that don't know Maddie or her family, the outpouring of love for this special girl is just amazing. Sincerely, this is something that wouldn't be able to do without each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

SEND A CARD OF ENCOURAGEMENT

You can send cards of support to Maddie's Aunt Sarah while they're at St. Jude receiving treatment. Sarah will be sure the cards get to the family. Restaurant, grocery, or gas gift cards would be a blessing too. Sarah is also helping to answer any questions on behalf of the family. Right now, they're in fight mode to beat the beast! As you lay your head on the pillow tonight, say a prayer for this wonderful family and Maddie. They're going through so much. I'm sure it seems like a nightmare they can't wake up from.

Abby, Matt, and Maddie Strader
7524 Ridgeway Ave.
Evansville, In 47715

MADDIE'S ARMY SHIRTS ARE AVAILABLE TO ORDER

Maddie's Army via Bonfire
Maddie's Army via Bonfire
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The shirts come in a variety of colors and sizes. All proceeds will be donated to the family for Maddie’s continued care. As fundraisers are planned, we'll bring you all the details.

You can see the power of faith shining through with each social media update. We pray that God heals her little body and that the treatments she receives will be successful. St. Jude is the best hospital and she will get amazing care. This is such a scary time for the Strader family. The unknown with Maddie and her medical journey. The scariness of what tomorrow may bring. #prayers  #maddiesarmy #maddiesmiracle

* Thank you Katie at Exhale Photography in Newburgh for allowing us to use your beautiful photos.