It is pretty amazing to watch kids grow up and Geoffrey and I have taken great pleasure in seeing our niece Madeleine go from a fun loving, inquisitive child to a talented and bright young woman.
We have always known that Maddie is special and not just your average girl. She has always been artistic and athletic and could melt her father’s heart with a simple smile. Her Uncle Geoff has always had a soft spot for Maddie too and has said if we had a daughter, he would have hoped she would have been a lot like Madeleine.
Madeleine is a student at St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island and she spends a considerable amount of time sailing. She is getting some great experience on the water sailing and from what I hear, she is really excelling in the sport! I am not surprised as I have always known that Maddie will do well in everything she chooses to do!
On Friday, Maddie took charge of a dress down event at St. George’s School and the results of her efforts for Team Fox and Parker’s Climb were astounding! Here is how the event works.
Students attending St. George’s are required to follow a dress code, but on some Friday’s they are allowed to purchase a bracelet for a donation of $3.00 that allows them to dress down for classes in jeans, sweatpants and hoodies during classes.
Maddie sent an email reminding students that bracelets would be for sale for the dress down event and that donations would benefit Parker’s Climb and Team Fox for Parkinson’s research.
Here is how Maddie explained what happen next; “I was in disbelief after six people came up to me with their own stories of Parkinson’s and other central nervous system diseases.” “I knew that these diseases affect so many people, but I had never had the experience of talking with students and teachers who I see everyday.” “Each personal story was so heart felt I was moved to tears.”
Later Madeleine spoke in front of her student group during assembly and she told the student body more about Parker’s Climb and her upcoming Mt. Kilimanjaro climb. This was the first time that she had spoken to such a large group about something as personal as Parkinson’s disease and quite normally, she was a little nervous at the beginning. As she continued to speak however, she soon felt the positive energy and support for her cause from her peers and she decried the feeling as “outstanding!”
I love that Maddie felt the support from the students and I know it took a lot of courage to stand in front of this group to talk about her Uncle Geoff and his battle with Parkinson’s disease. I also know that she must have been filled with passion as she told the Parker story and that this event was yet another turning point in her life.
On Thursday, Maddie was a talented and beautiful sixteen year training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with an uncle who has Parkinson’s disease. On Friday, Madeleine witnessed “the Power of Maddie” and she became a Parkinson’s Disease Advocate!
Later in the day, Madeleine went to the Dean of Students office to count the money collected during the dress down. For the event, she raised $600.00 which meant 200 students participated! What an amazing experience and event to help raise funds for Parker’s Climb and Team Fox!
Maddie went on to say this about her experience with the fundraiser; “This experience of organizing and talking to others with heartfelt stories has really been amazing.” “I’m glad we have this awesome community, not only within my school but for everyone who is affected by PD and other disorders.” “I believe that because we are so strong, and we are fighting so hard for this cure that it will happen! I have no doubt in my mind that we will find a cure!”
Geoff and I share the same belief and know that our support for Team Fox will help fund important research towards the cure! Geoff and I are humbled and we thank you and every student that participated in the St. George’s event!