11-year-old girl battling Stage 4 cancer named prom queen

Posted at 1:33 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 13:33:00-04

MONROE, OH (FOX19) - An 11-year-old southwest Ohio girl is marking another item off her bucket list as she continues to fight Stage 4 cancer.

By all accounts, Madison "Maddie" Smallwood is incredibly strong.

The child has lived just more than a decade of life but, in that short time, she's encountered overwhelming obstacles and is fighting fights some adults three times her age never experience.

At just 8-years-old, Maddie was diagnosed with Stage 4 Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, according to her mother.

"She has undergone major leg surgery, four lung surgeries, and then, she's done 30 rounds of chemo and 23 rounds of radiation," Lori Smallwood said.

It's been a rollercoaster of good days and bad days for the Monroe family. There's been up and, more recently, some downs.

A tumor that was removed from Maddie's body has returned, and now it's inoperable, doctors have told the family, according to her mother.

Still, Maddie and her loved ones make it clear they will never give up.

Every minute, every moment, they're waiting, hoping and searching for a miracle.

Until their wish comes true, however, they are making the most of the time they have together.

For Maddie, that means making dreams reality.

With her mother's help, she created a "bucket list" of things she hopes to accomplish as soon as possible.

"She got a drivers license. She drove a Corvette," her mother said. "She's graduated from sixth grade recognition. She got to graduate from high school."

Another special moment in time Maddie wanted to experience was to attend prom.

Her Monroe community made that a reality Wednesday night by hosting "Maddie Smallwood's Fifth Grade Prom."

Held at the Lodge at Lake Lyndsay in Hamilton, the event was complete with a  DJ, photographers, food, dessert and even a limo.

Nearly everything, including the space itself, was a donated, according to Lori Smallwood.

"The love and the support is beyond me," she said.

Maddie's classmates from Monroe Elementary, attended prom with her.

Four boys even escorted her as her "dates."

"Seeing the smile on Madison's face, it's just amazing," said Colby Watts, a classmate and one of Madison's "dates."

Overall, the kids at the prom said they had a great time, but the bucket list is bittersweet.

"It's happy, but at the same time, it's sad, because she's going through a lot of hard stuff," said another of her dates, Wesley Heintzelman.

Despite the endless emotions, Maddie, her mother, and her loved ones are thankful.

They're thankful for guaranteed memories and guaranteed fun because, for Maddie, tomorrow is not guaranteed.

"Haven't seen Madison smiling the way she has (tonight) in the last three years like she has with having her prom-posals and actually having this prom," her mother said.

When it comes to Maddie, who at the end of the night was deemed "Prom Queen," her last name might be Smallwood, but, her heart, her drive and her determination to survive, is anything but small.

Lori Smallwood said the Monroe community has really stepped up for Maddie, and they want to say thank you.

Maddie does have more to check off her bucket list, including a beach vacation and taking photos in her mother's wedding dress.

You can follow updates on Maddie's story and her progress on a Facebook page called "Team Madison"

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