Sweet and spunky Madeleine James was diagnosed with an inoperable, malignant brain tumor called DIPG in January. Without delving into all of the details of this aggressive tumor, Maddie’s prognosis is grim, at best. The median overall survival of children diagnosed with DIPG is approximately 9 months, with the 18-month survival rate being less than 10%. These statistics make it one of the most devastating pediatric malignancies. Maddie’s doctors have given her 6 months.

My family has been absolutely floored by this diagnosis. Shock, disbelief, devastation, and complete anguish are a few words that come to mind. Constant worry over what this is doing to Maddie’s family; how her parents are even able to feign participation in the normal, day-to-day grind that keeps whizzing on around them regardless of their horrific new reality. I can’t imagine what they are going through, I truly can’t. And if I try, I immediately feel like weeping, punching, screaming, hyperventilating and vomiting at the same time. God, the excruciating pain they must be feeling right now. I can’t stop thinking about it.

I think of Maddie’s mom, Kajsa. As a mother, I can’t fathom the grief that has overtaken her heart. To lose a child, her only child. The child that was conceived after years of infertility struggles when it seemed like all hope of becoming pregnant was lost. The child she spent the last 5 and half years holding, raising, comforting, teaching and marveling over. Her only child. Her miracle. Her heart.

I think of my dear cousin and Maddie’s father, Collie. The way his eyes light up every single time he mentions Maddie’s name. The enormous pride and adoration he has for this child. The child he spent the last 5 and half years holding, raising, comforting, teaching and marveling over. His only child. Daddy’s girl. His heart.

I think about the intense grief Collie experienced four years ago when his sister and only sibling, Lauren, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 26. I think about the slow healing of his heart over the past four years, and whether it can withstand this ridiculously unfair and cruel blow. To lose his only sibling and now, his only child? This can’t possibly be happening. Yet, it is. I think about his parents, my aunt Katherine and uncle Collie, who are dealing with the stifling pain of losing a daughter and now, their only grandchild.

I think of Maddie’s cousins. Maddie’s aunt and uncles. Maddie’s grandparents and great-grandparents. Maddie’s neighbors, schoolmates and friends.

Most of all, I think of Maddie. I think of the incredibly bright, beautiful and talented 5-year-old that isn’t getting a chance at a healthy, long life that most children are given. To not be able to blossom into a vivacious and lovely young lady reminiscent of her godmother, Lauren.

I think of Maddie.

At this point in time, it’s so incredibly difficult to find any shred of a silver lining in all of this. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever will, but I do know that if I don’t try to help in any and every way possible, I’ll implode. Although Maddie’s parents have been going through a divorce, they have come together as a team of super powers dedicated to making every single day of Maddie’s life a day worth celebrating.

One of their CaringBridge journal entries says it best,

We have chosen to cherish every moment we have left with our beloved daughter.  And, a little laughter is sometimes the only thing that helps us get through the day.  We have a lifetime to deal with the grief when she is gone.

How can you help celebrate Miss Maddie’s life? Many, many ways. (And I would be remiss if I didn’t include a whoorl-worthy list.)

1. Maddie’s parents have started an amazing foundation to honor Maddie and her immense love of the ocean. You can learn all about The Maddie James Foundation here, as well as Collie and Kajsa’s hopes of creating The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center here. If you feel so inclined, please help them reach their goal by making a tax deductible donation here.

2. Visit Maddie’s CaringBridge page. Read about the special moments she is experiencing and will experience throughout the upcoming months.

3. Send Maddie and her family all of the prayers and positive thoughts you can muster. They need them more than you will ever know.

Over the past 5 years, I have witnessed firsthand the immense support you all have put forth for good friends of mine who were dealing with tragedies and challenges. For that, I am so incredibly humbled and thankful. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the sheer love and generosity that you have shown in the past. As you can imagine, this particular tragedy has taken hold of my heart. Watching this happen to a young family member has caused a pain that is, well, indescribable. I hope my attempts of providing you numerous ways to help haven’t come off as excessive, but I just want so desperately to help in any way that I can.

Most importantly, if only for a second, please think of Maddie and her family today. Send all the warm thoughts and prayers you can.

  • Vicki

    February 7, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Oh Sarah, this is just devastating, what a beautiful little girl. I don’t really know what to say as I don’t think words are enough in this situation, but as I live by the sea and an amazing oceanographic/marine museum, I will put together a little care package of fun stuff for Maddie and send it to the address you gave.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • C @ Kid Things

    February 7, 2011 at 8:07 am

    This broke my heart, but that last picture just did me in. Maddie and her family are definitely in my thoughts today, and most likely many more days to come.

  • amanda

    February 7, 2011 at 8:16 am

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I cannot imagine a more intense pain. I will send all of my good healthy vibes towards Maddie and her mom and dad. Love to you. Now heading over to your page to donate….

  • Gabriella

    February 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

    This broke my heart. Maddie looks a lot like my little sister Lois, who is only 9. I wish words would help, but the only thing I can do now is pray. And I will!

  • Colleen

    February 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    As the mother of a 3 year old little girl who is the light of my life and my one and only child, there are simply no words. I am so horrifically sorry for your entire family. I find “prayer” incredibly difficult when I hear stories such as this, but your family will be in in my thoughts constantly and I wish for Maddie’s days to be filled with laughter and love.

  • Bopril

    February 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Damn, I am just so sorry. This broke my heart, and I will be thinking of sweet Maddie and her family (including you) for a long time to come. Sending good thoughts and copious prayer their way, right now.

  • Angella

    February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Oh, Sarah. I am so, so sorry. If I lived there I would run with you for sure. Hugs and love and prayers to Maddie and everyone from us.

  • sizzle

    February 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I’m so sorry. This breaks my heart. They are all in my prayers.

  • Jessica

    February 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m praying for Maddie and her family.

  • Dani

    February 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Oh, Sarah, what devastating news for everyone. I cannot begin to imagine the pain they are all feeling, but most especially Maddie’s parents. I have an urge to run and sweep my daughter up and never let her go.

    They are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so, so sorry.

  • Rita

    February 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

    My God Sarah. I have no words.

  • janet

    February 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

    sarah as i write this, tears just roll down my face. i too have a 5 year old daughter and to think of the pain her parents are enduring this very moment is heartbreaking, inconceivable. one thing i know for sure by looking at her sweet face is that her soul is as pure as the ocean and her heart full of love and that is what she’ll leave behind to all her loved ones. may god bless her and her family and may HE give them peace in this difficult time.

  • am'ti b

    February 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

    i have not stopped thinking of them since i heard my heart is with them and all my good thoughts! this was lovely and the pictures are so joyful. love to them all!

  • San

    February 7, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I am so, so sorry, Sarah… for your family and little Maddie. I am at a loss of words.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah James, AngellaD and ThinkBlue, Jordan . Jordan said: RT @whoorl: Madeleine : whoorl http://bit.ly/dZaFH1 […]

  • Rebecca (Bearca)

    February 7, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Sarah. This breaks my heart and I have tears in my eyes. What a devastating thing to happen to your family. And what a beautiful little girl. Love and prayers to you, Madeleine and the whole family. xoxo

  • TammiMarie

    February 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I am so sorry :(

  • AnEmily

    February 7, 2011 at 9:59 am

    It’s not fair and children should never die. I’m so sorry for what your family is going through. I wish you all strength and peace.

  • Lawyerish

    February 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I don’t even know what to say. Words are inadequate. My prayers are with your family and with sweet, beautiful Madeleine.

  • Jen {Tiny Oranges}

    February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I am typing through tears this morning. As a mom of two little girls who are my entire universe, I truly cannot fathom the depth of the devastation. What a beautiful, amazing post you wrote to honor Maddie. I am also honored to run along side you on Team Tiny Oranges at the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Run / Walk on May 1st. I will be running every step for Maddie, and all the kids like her, that have been affected by this horrendous disease that is robbing too many kids of their childhood. I am making it my personal goal as well, to raise $1000 for this cause. To find cures and causes so other kids and families don’t have to live through this nightmare. I am praying for Maddie, and her family, and your entire family.

  • Beth

    February 7, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’m so sorry to read this. I have friends who lost their daughter in October 2009 to a brain tumor, a little girl named Donna who was named for her grandmother … who died of a brain tumor while my friend was pregnant with Donna. Life can be unfathomably cruel.

    And yet, the silver lining you seek? Donna’s story continues in the charity that her parents founded in her name, Donna’s Good Things. It is small, but growing, and funds dance scholarships and the purchase of iPads and portable DVD players for kids undergoing treatments, and a New Year’s Eve party at the hospital.

    None of it will ever make up for the loss of Donna, of course, but it helps them. It is how they parent her now.

    And, on a more simple level, Donna’s journey inspired so many people to live their lives more fully, to be more mindful of the abundance of blessings that surround us every day.

    I can relate to your disbelief and pain. It’s awful to witness a child’s decline. But love will help them through this. I’m sending some today.

  • Alice Q. Foodie

    February 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Oh Sarah I am so sorry. We have a good friend who was diagnosed with a GBM a couple of years ago. She’s too young at 44 and I had all of those same feelings you describe when we heard, but this is just unthinkable. It’s not much of a silver lining to you and your family, and a bit of a cliche, but hopefully this will at least remind all who see it to cherish and appreciate what (and who) they have and realize how lucky they are. Kiss your family members and tell them you love them. You just never know.

  • cj4

    February 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Thanks, Sarah, and thanks to all of you for your warm prayers and words of support.

    Maddie has a lot of living left to do and we are enjoying every single second of it. She has taken the changes to her body with little more than “meh” and continues to be her usual, vivacious, hilarious self. Life may seem incredibly cruel, but I have been blessed with the honor of being the daddy to the most awesome little girl who has ever been. I can only see joy in that privilege. There are many tears to come, but we will get through this together and, right now, we are swimming together, laughing together, hugging together, watching Scooby Doo together. Just as we always have.

    We love you.

  • SAJ

    February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I’m so sorry. I will pray and run with you!

  • Angela

    February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    My heart breaks for Maddie and her family. I’ll be hugging my own five and a half year old a little bit harder this afternoon as I think about your family. God bless Maddie, her mom, her dad, and you.

  • J

    February 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’m so, so sorry. What a truly unimaginable ordeal. I’ll be sending prayers and donating what I can to this family and cause.

  • Tina

    February 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I am so very sorry for you and your family and for Maddie. I wish there was more to do. Sending all my thoughts and prayers…

  • gorillabuns

    February 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

    i’m with you. no freaking silver lining to be had here,

    i’m sorry. i’m praying.

  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    February 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    She is beautiful. My thoughts are with all of you.

  • Lin

    February 7, 2011 at 11:31 am

    There are no words. Be fleet of foot and know Maddie and her family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • bethany actually

    February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Sarah, I’m brokenhearted for you and your family. Maddie and all around her have my prayers and love.

  • Lynn @ Walking With Scissors

    February 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I am so very sorry that this is happening. No little one should have to go through this. I am glad your cousin and his wife are putting their issues aside to make the rest of their daughter’s days as bright and happy as possible.

  • Ellen

    February 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

    sarah…i haven’t commented yet but have enjoyed reading your blog. this one hit so….so hard. tears are streaming. i am so sorry. am so sorry for your maddie’s parents. and for lovely maddie. the pics of her remind me so much of my girls, ages 4 and 6. all so blonde, my youngest in similar glasses. i just don’t understand how something like this happens…why? why?? life can be so hard. your family is in my prayers. and i WILL do something for pediatric cancer. absolutely.

  • Jenny

    February 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Thinking of your family and Madeleine’s parents and Madeleine especially and will be saying lots of prayers on their behalf.

  • Danielle

    February 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    She is beautiful. This is crushing.

  • Nicole

    February 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t know what to say, and there is little I can do aside from pray for that sweet little girl and her parents who clearly love her so much.

  • Rafaella Rauber Kopper

    February 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    She’s an angel and I’m very sad about this news. Thinking/praying for her and family!

    Kisses and love from Brazil!

  • Andrea

    February 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I will be praying for a miracle. And am glad she already has an angel in her corner to watch over her.

  • Lindsay

    February 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Sarah – I read your blog faithfully and always enjoy it, though I don’t believe I have ever commented before. I am praying for Maddie, her parents, you and all of the friends and family surrounding such a special little girl at such a devastating time. Praying for strength, peace, comfort and most of all a miracle.

  • Sara

    February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    This breaks my heart. My family is going thru something equally horrific, my cousin (35, non-smoker) was diagnosed last year with Stage IV lung cancer, was was recently told there was nothing more they could do for him. The thought of his four-year old son growing up without knowing his amazing father makes me weep, and the thought of his wife dealing with this horrific tragedy makes me want to hurl. Not to mention how completely unfair the whole situation is, I just want to have a temper tantrum and kick and stomp my feet. I’ll be praying for strength and peace for Maddie and her family as I pray for my cousin, Andy and his.

  • melinda

    February 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I was one of maddies preschool teachers, and i cant even tell you how much sadness i feel right now, i love this little girl so much, she would bright up my day and has such a beautiful fun personality and I pray God will miraculously heal this child and she will become healthy again, God is mighty to heal so please pray for her and her family.

  • Cindy Slusar

    February 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Hello there,

    A friend of mine forwarded me this link because I am helping a family in Santa Barbara raise money for their daughter who was diagnosed with DIPG this past August. I wanted to see if your two families could possibly meet (in person or via email) for support. I think knowing a family going through a rare event like this would help. Please let me know if you’d be interested in being introduced to the other family or if there is some way I can be of assistance. This story as well as the other famiy’s breaks my heart and it definitely hits home since I have a young daughter (18 months).


  • MissMary

    February 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    My heart just breaks for your family, for this beautiful little girl and her family that deserve to see her grow-up. Your willingness to use your site to to find anything good to make this sweet girls remaining days better and to end pediatric cancer will be an unending tribute to this beautiful girl.

  • BeRefinnej

    February 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I am so incredibly sorry. So, so sorry.

  • Kelly

    February 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest the whole time I was reading this. It is beyond my scope to even begin to make sense of such pain and sorrow. My prayers will be with your family as they press on until her passing and then pick up the pieces. Thank you for your poignancy and for sharing this.

  • Sarah

    February 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I’m having a hard time not crying at work after reading this. My 2 and 1/2 year son, my only child after years of infertility and loss, is my whole world. Losing him is my absolute worst nightmare. I’m so sorry. I hope that they are able to spend as much time as possible with their gift.

  • brandon

    February 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    my god, this is heartbreaking. i couldn’t begin to know how to cope.

  • Miss Monica

    February 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Maddie was one of my students when I was a preschool teacher. Going to work every day and being part of the lives of children like this was such a blessing. She was the kind of soul that lights up everyone around her. I pray for God’s healing touch in her life and the lives of those in her world who are effected by this diagnosis.

    Thanks for sharing her story!

  • Miss Monica

    February 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Maddie was one of my students when I was a preschool teacher. Going to work every day and being part of the lives of children like this was such a blessing. She was the kind of soul that lights up everyone around her. I pray for God’s healing touch in her life and the lives of those in her world who are effected by this diagnosis.

    Thanks for sharing

  • bishOp stu tu

    February 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    whOOrl gOOrl,

    Your words portray, with gentle sensitivity, the saddest event I’ve witnessed in sixty years. I know how much thought and prayer you’ve given to telling this heart-breaking story.
    I thought it impossible to translate into words these emotions that we are experiencing. The Oklahoma portion of the tribe says “bless you” for doing so with such eloquence.
    The Collie James family remains at the center of this daily process. We send our most caring love to Maddie, Kajsa, Collie IV, Katherine and my brother Collie….while wishing and praying we could do more.

  • Amanda Brown

    February 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    There are no words to convey the tragedy here. Makes my heart so heavy.

  • Caroline

    February 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Sending you & Maddie and the entire fam loads and loads of love! xoxo

  • Rhi

    February 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    So heartbreaking. Your entire family is in my thoughts. xo

  • Katie

    February 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    My dear cousin, your words are incredibly beautiful and express perfectly what I have been unable to do adequately. So thank you for the post. Love you and can’t wait to see you and the family!

  • Janette Maclean (Paulsen)

    February 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t normally comment but as I read your blog regularly (from New Zealand), I am amazed how really there is fewer than 7 degrees of separation sometimes….I am an old friend of Kajsa (my family is Scandinavian and we were all in the same club) and when I heard the devastating news, I was in shock. We have been out of touch for many years but I have been thinking of Maddie and her family every day and am truly amazed by how Maddie’s parents are holding it together with such grace and humour. My whole family is thinking of you all.

  • beckie s

    February 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Oh. my. Words cannot express enough sorrow of how I feel for her and the family. But the joy they are giving her is so tremendous. My prayers are with the whole family.

  • Roxanne

    February 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Oh my God, Sarah. I am so, so, so incredibly sorry to hear about this. You’re so right when you say that no child deserves to die. I can’t even imagine the pain you and your entire family is going through right now. I am sending all my thoughts and prayers Maddie’s way.

  • Ninabi

    February 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Oh God.
    As a mother I cannot begin to imagine what her parents are going through. What a beautiful child, a treasure in every way.

    My heart breaks for them all and for everyone that loves her.

  • Kim

    February 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Oh my God. Truly unimaginable. What a brave girl Maddie is and what incredible parents she has. I’m speechless and devastated and crushed. I will run on May 1st here in Denver in honor of Maddie (it’s the cherry creek sneak: http://www.cherrycreeksneak.com) I will be thinking of her and her family constantly.

  • Amanda @ Ramblings of an Empty Mind

    February 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Sarah, like the rest, I don’t even know what to say. Sending thoughts, prayers and hugs your way and to Madeline and her family. No one should have to go through this, much less a parent.

  • Roxanna

    February 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Sarah, what a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Maddie. Thank you for letting us know how we can help. Big hugs to you and all of yours.

  • narmalie

    February 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Such a heartbreaking and unfair situation. My thoughts and prayers are with Maddie and with your whole family.

    What a beautiful, lovely and loved little girl.

  • Sarah

    February 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I’m so very sorry to read this. I only recently came across your blog and was so saddened to hear that your family had received such difficult and tragic news. A friend of a friend had a young daughter with the same, or similar, diagnosis a few years ago, and they now run a foundation in her name. Their site is http://www.smilesforsophieforever.org. I hope that if you choose to explore their site and their foundation, it will help you and your loved ones feel connected to someone who can relate to the experience and all the emotion that comes with it. I will be thinking of Maddie and her entire family.

  • Whitney

    February 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I can’t stop crying and my heart hurts. I am so sorry.

  • vickie

    February 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    God is now and forever will be at your side. May his mercy and grace carry you through your days ahead. I will be praying for all of you.

  • Amy

    February 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Thinking of and praying for you and your family—I cannot imagine the devastating pain.

  • megan

    February 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Oh Sarah. :-( I am so heartbroken for your family, I can’t even imagine. I am so, so, so sorry. My thoughts & prayers are with you all.

  • Amelia

    February 7, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    My heart, and prayers go out to Maddie and her family. This is so sad. I remember Maddie from preschool where I work. I remember those big beautiful blue eyes and that sweet smile that she always had. She was always so polite and nice with everyone. May God give you the strength and guidance to deal with this tragic news. My prayers are with you all.

  • Mary Kay

    February 8, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Perfect expression of the love we feel for CJ4 and Maddie. We can only lift them up in our prayers and continue to pray that every day brings a smile along with all the tears.

  • Reedu

    February 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

    There are no words. This is just terrible. I am so terribly sorry.

  • brianne

    February 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Sending more prayers your way, Sarah. For your family, and especially for Madeleine.

  • Pinkie Bling

    February 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I’m so sorry this is happening to your family, Sarah. I’m keeping thoughts of you guys close to my heart, and hoping for comfort and peace for all of you.

  • Blondie

    February 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about this tragedy. Maddie is a beautiful girl, and my heart goes out to your entire family. I have a five year old & this story breaks my heart.

  • Marci

    February 8, 2011 at 10:47 am

    This is so heartbreaking and yes, unfair. What a wonderful little girl.

    Many prayers of comfort to Maddie, her parents, you and your entire family.

  • Claudia

    February 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I am so so sorry for Maddie and her family. Thank you for sharing this tragic story with us. I hope you single-handedly raise a million dollars on this run.

  • Mama in the City

    February 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

    That is a very lovely well written post Sarah. It is really hard when these diagnosis are given a name and a face, like Maddie. It is a grand reminder how important life is, and even more important how life is when you are given a diagnosis that is terminal. Things like messy rooms and your toddler driving you nuts, seem like a drop in the bucket compared to these real life situations.

  • Julie

    February 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

    What a heartbreaking situation. My thoughts are with you and your family – thank you for sharing with us. Going to donate now…

  • Heather

    February 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    There are no words to express my sorrow for this precious child and her family.

  • kat

    February 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    i am so sorry.

    these kinds of things just make me so mad – so much unexplained whys of the world.

    droping some cheer in a mailbox…!

  • Meredith

    February 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    My sister-in-law knows Kasja from high school and I have been following Maddie’s story for a few weeks. My heart is so heavy but I am inspired by her parents’s grace and humanity in their posts. And, yours for sharing.
    Maddie and another little boy I know of who was recently diagnosed with a benign brain tumor are my inspiration this year when I have my head shaved again to raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They too focus on children’s cancer research by funding grants to the folks doing the research.
    We need to do all that we can to stop this suffering. I did it last year to raise money- this year I am doing it to raise money and hope.

    God bless you all-
    Meredith W

  • Torrie @ a place to share...

    February 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    This is absolutely heartbreaking. In the very, very least- it is a wake-up call to the tragedy that others are experiencing, and to the reality (and reminder) that the little stresses are exactly that- LITTLE.

    I am on my way to make a donation, on your personal page.

  • Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything

    February 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    There are just no words. My heart broke as I read each line. I’ll be running in tears with you in May :-(

  • Pam Harris

    February 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    From an old college friend of Collie’s. You said everything I thought and felt (but more eloquently) when I read the devastating news. Thank you for raising money for the cause and for being such a great cousin, niece and friend to Collie and his parents. And I have hugged my own girls and told them I love them every day more than ever in honor of Maddie…

  • Asha {Parent Hacks}

    February 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Thinking of you and your family. Maddie is beautiful, and her parents’ joy in the pictures is obvious. May these next few months be filled with as much joy and love as they can hold.

  • PatagoniaCommunity

    February 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    So true: difficult to find a silver lining. One possibility though is that it spurs others on to express love to their own kids more often. Has certainly done that for me. Thank you for sharing this. My prayers are with Madeleine, you, and your family.

  • LauraJane

    February 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    My heart is broken for your family and sweet Madeleine.

  • Kristen

    February 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    So devastating. Praying.

  • alison

    February 13, 2011 at 7:09 am

    there are no words. so sorry to hear this – thinking of you and your family.

  • Love is in the Hair Event: Hair Thursday

    February 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    […] for those of you who read my personal blog, you know my main focus as of late has been completely on family. A foundation that has become very close to my heart over the past few weeks is the Pediatric […]

  • Sara

    February 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    It is devastating just to read this. I can’t even imagine what Maddie’s parents are going through (like you, I seize up if I even think about trying to imagine it). I will be keeping this family in my thoughts. I lost a cousin to brain cancer a few years ago. She got three years of life more than the doctors said she would, which was such a gift. Maddie’s family will be in my thoughts as I continue to hope for medical advances that will bring an end to pediatric cancer, and indeed to all cancers.

  • Lindsey (aka modchik)

    February 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    This all came full circle on Saturday at the Love is in the Hair event, my sister had just told me about Maddie, she lives close to your cousin, I had no idea the personal connection you shared. Its all I can do to not cry as I read her update on caring bridge, I’m so glad I found out about this so I can lend my support (and I just posted all about Maddie today to share her story) to you and your family. ((HUGE HUGE HUGS)) sending all the James family members love and light!

  • Elizabeth

    February 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Sending prayers…

  • Kim Rowe

    February 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    You have written a beautiful and moving tribute to Maddie and her parents. I am sending all the positive thoughts I possibly can their way while cursing pediatric cancer. My then 4 year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia on January 1, 2010. Before that, I never would have thought that I would say that we got lucky with his diagnosis, but we did. His type of cancer has a high cure rate and he underwent 8 months of intensive chemo and is now on less intensive chemo through 2013. We have become part of the ped. cancer community and found out how large it actually is. We’ve seen so many stories of hope as well as stories of unbearable sadness. Through it all, PCRF has been amzingly supportive, and I thank you and Tiny Oranges for supporting this cause even as I wish that you had no personal affiliation with childhood cancer. I will continue to keep Maddie and her family in my thoughts, and I will forever be in the fight against childhood cancer.

  • eliza

    February 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    First time commenter here. I am so sorry to hear about Maddie. My thoughts and prayers are with her and your family.

    Wanted to pass along a resource I’m familiar with: the We CAN Pediatric Brain Tumor Network. They are based in S. California, so perhaps Maddie’s parents have already connected with them. I am a psychotherapist who has assisted in their free family camps–a great way to get support and connect with other children and families dealing with pediatric brain tumors. Their website: http://www.wecan.cc.

  • mamalang

    February 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

    A son of one of my co-workers passed from this a year ago. He fought a long hard battle, and so many members of our community rallied around them. But still…it’s so heartbreaking. I will send all the positive thoughts I can their way.

  • Supporting Mikey, Jen and Sarah

    February 18, 2011 at 2:36 am

    […] I learned of this darling little girl from my fellow Orange County Blogger, the fabulous Sarah from Whoorl and Hair Thursday. Maddie is part of Sarah’s extended family. She was recently diagnosed with an […]

  • Kerri Anne

    February 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve been waiting to comment on this post, thinking that at some point I might be able to comment without crying, but I think that’s impossilbe, and you know, maybe it very well should be. This should hurt, and my heart aches for everyone who knows Maddie in person, and for those who, like me, only know her through your beautiful words. She is clearly a beautiful soul. A beautiful, vivacious little girl.

    Maybe the silver lining is that Maddie’s life is filled with so many people who love and cherish her, and who are going to go above and beyond to make her time here the best and most memorable it can be.

    I will be daily praying for a miracle, daily sending you love from here.

  • The Maddie James Foundation | Tipsy Society

    February 24, 2011 at 5:05 am

    […] may have already read Maddie James’ story via Whoorl’s blog.  Or, this may be the first time.  Sarah at Whoorl has always been a huge […]

  • GirlsGoneChild

    February 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Just catching up on your blog and wow, Sarah. I’m so so sorry to read this – heartbroken for your family and totally speechless. Sending you all love and light.

  • The Maddie James Foundation : whoorl

    March 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    […] I wrote a couple of weeks ago, my cousin’s daughter Maddie was diagnosed with an inoperable, malignant brain tumor in […]

  • Lizzie

    March 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I am heartbroken to say the least. Maddie and her family will be in prayers. May God give you more strength through this very difficult time.

  • Desiree @StressFreeBaby

    March 7, 2011 at 6:30 am

    My heart goes out to you…I recently lost my father after a terminal diagnosis…it is heart breaking to KNOW you are losing someone you love and I’m so touched that your family is doing something positive with their grief. I can’t help financially but will do all I can to get the word out there for them. I’ll also be sending this to the LoveDrop.US guys.

  • K

    March 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I came across Maddie’s story as I tried to come to grips with a similar story of my dear friend’s daughter who has just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and is also 5 yrs old. You can follow her story on caringbridge.org signing in as shelbeeroberts. To other readers…Shelbee and her precious family need your prayers and support to find a cure! Thank you.