Success stories make for happy times at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, and Thursday afternoon was a prime example.
The hospital was the site of Maddie Swedberg’s “No More Chemo Party” following her last round of chemo. She’d been in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia the last three years.
Maddie entered the party in grand fashion, running through a ribbon and raising her arms in triumph. The Niswonger team sang a special song to Maddie. They also gave her balloons and a cake to celebrate her big day.
When Maddie was diagnosed at the age of 3, she was quickly sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis to start treatments. For several months, she and her mother, Elizabeth, made the 10-hour trip to give Maddie the chemotherapy and specialized care she needed.
After Maddie was approved to receive her weekly treatment at the St. Jude Tri-Cities Affiliate Clinic at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Elizabeth said, she was grateful to be able to continue Maddie’s healthcare close to their home in Afton. With the hospital so close, Elizabeth was able to continue working and Maddie was able stay with her mother and siblings. Maddie become a sort of ambassador for fighting cancer and a cheerleader for others at the hospital.
Originally, doctors told Elizabeth that Maddie would require four years of chemo treatment, but she responded well. Maddie’s cancer is now in remission. Her spunk and resilience has led her mom to nickname her the “warrior princess.”
“She just wants to touch as many people as possible,” her mother told Ballad Health. “Maddie is still so positive and full of joy and life.”