INDIANOLA, Iowa –As a second grade student at Emerson Elementary in Indianola, Maddy Snow has lots to learn. "I think I'll learn more than I did last year," she said.
But, the 7-year-old has already mastered so much. "It was hard to go through, but I managed to do it," she said, talking about her cancer diagnosis last October.
Mom Libby Snow said, "She came down with flu-like symptoms. We kind of rode it out a little bit, thought she might get better. The fevers weren't going away, the vomiting was really persistent and then we noticed there was a really large lump on the side of her stomach."
Snow soon learned Maddy had a rare form of cancer called a Wilms' tumor. She said,"Her's came back as an exceptionally hard to treat kind. She has stage four diffused anaplastic Wilms’ tumors. The treatment plan is exceptionally aggressive for her versus someone who just has a Wilms' tumor and the survival rate is much smaller."
Maddy had surgery and then underwent 41 weeks of chemotherapy at Blank Children's Hospital. She finished in July. She now goes to the doctor monthly and is considered to be in a maintenance mode. "We just wait, which is always the hardest part, until October and we see where we end up," Snow said.
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. The Snows work to raise awareness through a Facebook page called “Mighty Maddy.” Snow said, "Cancer is out there, and it's not going away. Our kids are our future in the fact that funding isn't there for them, and it's something people need to think about and talk about and do something about, if they can."
The Snows say the Children's Cancer Connection is a great organization that helps kids locally through their cancer journeys. You can help the group raise money while honoring children and families from across the state. The Flapjack 5k and 10k is Sunday, Sept. 20 at Water Works Park. The opening ceremony is at 8:30. The race starts at nine.
You can register on the Children’s Cancer Connection website.