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Meet Maddie

This 13-year-old is on a mission to spread kindness to all she meets

When Maddison was 10 she was playing next to a treadmill when her hand was sucked underneath and trapped until her grandfather was able to lift the treadmill off her. The result was a terrible hand burn and Maddie’s parents sought care at Shriners Children’s Boston.

After her injury, Maddie was concerned about her ability to play sports and enjoy her favorite activities. Her doctor, Robert L. Sheridan, M.D., chief of the burn service, explained that treadmill injuries are very complicated because of the damage to the bone and the small blood vessels in the impacted area. In Maddie’s case, the care team decided not to operate, but rather treated her injury with rehabilitation and scar management. Maddie was thrilled that she was able to return to her busy active life without any limitations.

Maddie has a giving heart; her positivity and compassion for others shine through in all she does. With gratitude for the specialized care she received at Shriners Children’s Boston, she acted on her desire to give back. She founded her own nonprofit called Brave Bees, an organization that aims to spread kindness through her school and community. One of the goals of Brave Bees is to “create kindness colonies, one school at a time.” Maddie also collects tubs full of can tabs to donate back to Shriners Children’s Boston. The tabs can be cashed in and the funds help support patients and families. If you would like to learn more about Maddison’s platform, you can visit the Brave Bees website.

We recently checked in with Maddie to see what she has been up to since we last heard from her. Now 13, she has never stopped doing what she loves, and always with a smile on her face.

Hello Maddie! What are you up to these days?

After a lot of hard work, I recently won the title of 2022 Miss Maine Young Teen Young American Woman of Service. At the pageant, I earned a Bronze Presidential Service award for all the volunteer work I have done with my non-profit organization, Brave Bees. In July I will be competing at the national pageant.

I started competition cheer for the first time, and it is so much fun. I’ve learned how to do stunts, fun routines and the best part of all is I get to be with my friends.

For Christmas we got a kitten named Louie, and moved into our new house. I got to see what my bedroom looked like before it even had walls. Our house overlooks a big cornfield, so we’re able to see a lot of wildlife. At nighttime if we turn on our outside lights, we can see deer at our bird feeders.

Community outreach and philanthropy seem to be central to who you are. What can you tell us about your activities?

My goal is to spread kindness, which is why I made security blankets with my Memere (grandmother) to bring to Shriners [Children's] for some of the burn patients. I hope that during their procedures, these small blankets can give them something warm, soft, and comforting to hold that will help ease their fears. I still collect can tabs; now all of my family and friends save their tabs too. I was given a large donation from a popular store in our area that has been collecting on my behalf. I didn’t think it was possible to collect so many can tabs! It took a long time, but it is worth it to support Shriners.

Why is service and supporting Shriners Children’s so important to you?

It is important to me because of my experience at Shriners. We went to doctors in Maine hoping they could help, but none of them felt comfortable enough to take on the long journey to help me recover. At Shriners Children’s, they made sure I was comfortable and happy. They gave me games to play and made sure I understood everything they were saying, which was really important to me. The recovery process was long and sometimes we drove to Boston four times a week, but Shriners has made me the person I am today. If it wasn’t for Dr. Sheridan and the Shriners team, I could have lost my fingers completely. Now, I just have scars to remind me that even when it seems like the world could not get any worse, there is always someone there to help.

If it wasn’t for Dr. Sheridan and the Shriners team, I could have lost my fingers completely. Now, I just have scars to remind me that even when it seems like the world could not get any worse, there is always someone there to help.
Maddie, Boston patient

What do you do for fun?

In the summer you can find me fishing, swimming in the lake, and on amusement park rides – especially if they go upside down or make your stomach turn – the scarier the better. In the winter, I go ice fishing with my family. We bring a grill, make hotdogs and eat lots of food. I swear, food tastes better when you’re out on the ice.

Is there anything you would like to share about your family?

I live at home with my mom, dad, little brother Hunter and our two cats Louie and Anna. I’m lucky enough to live only a minute away from my Uncle Tony, Auntie Amy and cousins Izzy and Nate. I gained two very special guardian angels this past year and I know they are smiling down and so proud of me. My grandparents are some of my biggest cheerleaders. I’m so lucky to be loved by so many people. I don’t know who I would be without my family. They each help me be who I am in their own way.

Do you have any future plans or goals you would like to share?

Right now, I have my eyes on winning the international crown in July. I want to continue to grow Brave Bees and encourage others to spread kindness. Our world needs it now more than ever. In the future, I want to follow in my Auntie’s footsteps and attend The University of New England. I’ve always loved animals and my goal is to become a veterinarian and open a clinic with my cousin Izzy. I’d love to live in a big city. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll live in Boston.

This next question is for Maddie’s mother Emily – Is there anything you would like to share about all of Maddie’s accomplishments and her support of Shriners?

This past year and a half has been anything but easy, yet I have watched Maddie blossom into a thoughtful, caring and mature young lady. I am quickly learning that no obstacle will ever be too big for her to overcome. Seeing Maddie continue to develop Brave Bees and think of new ways to bring a smile to someone's face is inspiring. Maddie always talks about Shriners [Children's] and the impact that being a patient there left on her. We are about 3 1/2 years out from her injury and she still calls those at Shriners Children's in Boston her family. That speaks volumes on the care and compassion that was shown to her during our many visits.

Maddie – we are so impressed by your compassion and dedication to spreading kindness. We are proud to have you represent Shriners Children’s Boston as one of our treasured patient ambassadors!

Positive message from Shriners Children's Boston patient Maddie

Shriners Children's Boston patient Maddie spreads her positive spirit during the COVID pandemic.
View Transcript

Hello, everybody. It's Madison, a former patient of Shriners, just like you. They actually helped me on the burn on my hand. I just wanted to say I'm thinking of all of you and hope you're staying happy and healthy. I know I've been spending most of my time, drawing, coloring, painting, and doing a lot of crafty things. I just want to take a minute to say that we all are thinking of you and I hope to visit soon. Until then, bye.

Meet Maddie

This 13-year-old has already made her mark – spreading sunshine and positivity in all she does.

Maddie giving a thumb's up with bandage on left hand

Even after sustaining a terrible hand burn from a treadmill, Maddie sported a big smile and gave a thumbs up.

Maddie with Rebecca

Child life therapy helps reduce the anxiety a hospital visit can bring. Maddie was very happy to see child life specialist Rebecca while at Shriners Children's Boston!

Maddie in her number 5 "jersey"

Thanks to Dr. Sheridan and her care team, Maddie was able to return to her favorite activities after her burn injury.

Maddie holding container of can tabs

Maddie founded Brave Bees, a nonprofit that promotes kindness throughout schools and communities. The group also collects can-tabs which can be cashed in to help support Shriners Children's Boston patients.

Maddie with group of Shriners

Through her pageant work Maddie does a lot of service and community outreach. As Miss Chickadee Jr. Teen she attended several Shriners events including this one with the Kora Shriners.

Maddie wearing crown

Maddie recently won the title of 2022 Miss Maine Teen Young American Woman of Service and a Bronze Presidential Service Award. There is just no stopping this superstar! (Photo credit: Tess J. Photography)

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