Donut Give Up – Team Madison
Dine Out to Help 4-Year-Old Madison Williams Beat Brain Cancer
Leland Restaurants Donating Proceeds on December 13
At some of Leland’s favorite eateries, popular selections include the burgers, shakes,
smoothies, seafood, Irish fare and, of course, pizza. But even more fulfilling than the mouth-
watering menu items is the charitable spirit these restaurants are serving. P.T.’s Grille, Hwy. 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, Local’s Tavern, The Joyce, Fuzzy Peach and Pizzetta’s are all donating 10 percent of their profits on Thursday, December 13, 2018, to help save the life of one local child who is fighting her hardest to beat brain cancer.
Madison Williams is like most other 4-year-old little girls. She loves Disney World, stuffed animals, donuts and the movie Trolls. She has a big, caring heart, she loves to laugh, and she’s smart beyond her years. What sets Madison apart from other children is that she has been diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive brain cancer called neuroepithelial tumor. This type of cancer is so rare, in fact, that a team of doctors had to work together to create a very experimental treatment plan. Treatments that their insurance plan declined to cover. In February of 2018 Madison just wasn’t feeling well. She and her parents were making multiple trips to the doctor’s office with what seemed like typical cold or flu symptoms: loss of appetite and increased sleeping habits. But to her family it seemed like something more than common childhood sickness.
On March 1 the Williams family’s lives were changed forever when they were given Madison’s devastating diagnosis. Nearly 30 days later, Madison started her first round of monthly chemotherapy treatments. When an MRI showed the tumors were continuing to grow and had spread to her spine, doctors stopped chemo and tried a drug that had never been used in
fighting brain cancer before. Insurance initially denied the drug, but after an appeal, they opted to cover it.
Madison began feeling better, even well enough to make a trip to Disney World made possible by the Make a Wish Foundation. But, sadly, on October 30, an MRI revealed that the tumors on Madison’s brain were back with a vengeance, prompting doctors to desperately seek a new course of treatment. The Williams family helplessly watched as Madison grew sicker over the month of November. She slept for long periods, had fevers and vomiting. Her family and doctors decided to start chemotherapy again but also elected to include an additional chemo inhibitor drug. This time, insurance denied coverage of the new chemo inhibitor, even denying their appeal. In an attempt to save their daughter’s life, the family has no choice but to pay for the new drug out of their own pocket — and it costs $4,000 per month. That’s in addition to all
of the other mounting medical expenses.
On November 24, Madison was rushed by ambulance to the hospital in Chapel Hill, where she remains today. The buildup of fluid in her brain required immediate surgery. She also started radiation treatments and continues to stay in Chapel Hill. Her family is looking forward to the day when they can once again take their little girl home.
Pediatric cancer can make children and families feel as if they are all alone — especially when the form of cancer is so rare. But people in Leland and the surrounding areas are embracing Madison and her family by helping to offset the costs of medical treatments. You can help them save Madison’s life by dining in one of the establishments offering 20 percent of their profits on Thursday.
“We have the whole community behind us, which is amazing,” Debbie Williams, Madison’s mom, posted on a recent Facebook page. “Getting Madison’s story out and making awareness about pediatric cancer is very important to us.” Of the fundraising efforts of local restaurants, Williams says, “It is overwhelming the amount of support we have from our community. We cannot begin to tell you how grateful we are to each of you.”
Other sponsors for Team Madison include the Magnolia Greens and Compass Pointe communities, which will be hosting fundraising golf tournaments to raise funds for Madison’s healthcare. WWAY, North Brunswick Magazine and the Town of Leland are helping as well.
For more information and updates on Madison’s journey, visit @TeamMadisonDonutGiveUp on Facebook. If you can’t dine out on Thursday, December 13, visit the online crowdfunding campaign at gofundme.com/Go-Team-Madison.