Maddie Engel, an eight-year-old, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma on November 28, 2017. We found out and started working with the mother in January of 2018. We were able to schedule this event for Tuesday, May 29th, Maddie’s last week of school, also just weeks after she was found to be cancer-free.
We arranged for an SUV-style limousine to pick up Maddie, her mom, and eight of her friends from her school in Waterville, MN. The limousine transported the bunch 30 miles to Dairy Queen in Owatonna, where a party was set up in advance. Maddie and her friends came out of the limousine doing cartwheels, jumping, screaming, and extremely excited.
We had a section of Dairy Queen set up with princess and queen decorations. The kids all ordered afternoon dinner/snacks and shared an ice cream cake made specially for Maddie. One of our committee members, Mattie, dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Little Maddie had visited Disney World earlier in the year, and her facial expression was full of awe. “I remember her from Disney World,” Maddie exclaimed. Belle crowned Maddie with a tiara and presented her with a gift package to the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
The kids, mom, and all volunteers were overwhelmed with joy and laughter. Maddie was also interviewed by the Owatonna newspaper, and was incredible. “They all deserve a day like this,” she stated, referring to the other children with cancer she got to know while staying at the Ronald McDonald House during treatment phases. The story made the front page, titled “Queen Maddie.”