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(Posted 11:30 p.m., June 20)
Saint Kateri class raises over $900 for Children's Wish Foundation
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ten-year-old Madison White gets a hug from Janet-Lee Ferris after helping her class rasie nearly $1,000 for the Children's Wish Foundation. Photo supplied

A 10-year-old cancer survivor at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School in Orléans and her Grade 5 class have managed to raise more than $900 for the Children's Wish Foundation.

Madison White was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer in children, when she was just four months old. She received a liver transplant from her mother on her six month birthday.

In the years that followed she would undergo bone marrow biopsies on both of her hips and three eye surgeries when she was four, six and seven. As a transplant recipient she is on medicine for life and must undergo blood work every three months.

Despite all she's been through Madison is an active, enthusiastic, precocious young girl. The turning point in her life came in 2008 when she and her family were able to go to Disney World thanks to the Children's Wish Foundation.

Before the trip, Madison was dealing with a number of speech and language development issues. She was quiet and withdrawn and just been through her first eye surgery. The trip was completely life-altering, says her mother.

"She was extremely shy before the trip. Going to Disney completely changed her outlook on life," says Allison Jackson. "When we came back she totally came out of her shell. She spoke in front of her class for the first time. She would have never of done that before the trip."

The family returned to Disney World on their own accord after each of Madison's eye surgeries, but they've never forgotten that first trip.

Madison has made it her life's mission to give back to the Children's Wish Foundation every chance she can. At the beginning of the school year her class had to pick a charity to support throughout the year. Several of the kids put forward ideas including Madison. In the end, the class chose to support the Children's Wish Foundation.

During the past 10 months they've held Hat and Gum Days when the kids have to pay a quarter in order to chew gum or wear a hat in class. They also held pajama days for a dollar. After the Christmas break, Madison and some of her friends began making and selling Rainbow Loom bracelets.

Through all of their activities the class managed to raise a grand total of $939.30, which they recently presented to Children's Wish Foundation representative Janet-Lee Ferris.

The money will be used to help send another young child and their family to Disney World in the hope that it will have the same effect on them as it has on Madison and her family.

Madison White's Grade 5 class at Saint Blessed Kateri Catholic School in Orléans presents a cheque for $939.30 to Janet-Lee Ferris from the Children's Wish Foundation. Photo supplied

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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