Age: 8 | Winnipeg, Manitoba
My daughter Madelaine Wingfield who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba now seven years old. In January of 2004, just prior to reaching the tender age of two, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and was hospitalized for sometime at Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg. She spent her second birthday admitted to the Children’s ward at Childrens hospital.
She completed over a two year course of chemotherapy until March of 2006. At this point, we thought we were done the treatments and life could return to normal. In May of 2006, she was diagnosed with a relapse into her central nervous system, and she completed chemotherapy treatments at CancerCare Manitoba. During her treatment, she was subjected to cranial radiation and she took this like a trooper; a very brave little girl who maintains a very positive outlook on life. Madelaine’s mom Tara and Madelaine’s Nana took Madelaine to virtually every appointment at Cancer Care Manitoba. During Madelaine’s treatments, just endured dozens of Lumbar Punctures, Cranial radiation and massive volumes of chemo and related therapies during the 5 plus years she was on treatment.
She has a little brother, Mitchell who will just have turned six years old when the riders arrive, and is a “super sib”. This is a recognized from another organization as being a sibling of someone who is undergoing treatments of cancer. It further recognizes hardships that he must deal with at times during her treatment protocols.
During the course of her treatments, she has developed many complications and requires physical therapy to counter act the effects of the chemo. It is unknown at this time if these long lasting effects will fix themselves, or become permanent.
Madelaine completed her treatments in November of 2008 and recently celebrated this completion with her wish trip to Disney World in May.
Our worst days of this journal are obviously the day she diagnosed originally with cancer and also of the relapse. The relapse day hit us so hard, that her dad who is writing this hit the floor and was unable to get up and deal with this information. The only person that could get me off the floor was my wife Tara who has been amazingly strong during this ordeal.
Our best days, are when our little girl was able to go to school here in Winnipeg and learn like other school age children can. Also, the new addition to our family, to celebrate her last scheduled in hospital stay for chemo was Charlie, at the time a two month golden retriever pup. I took him to the hospital where Madelaine was where they could meet for the first time and they are very much attached and is loved by Madelaine. Charlie is now a full grown and they bring each other infinite joy and laughter.
Being and ambassador means a great deal to me. I am a City of Winnipeg police officer and I have been involved in other events to help raise support and awareness for Cancer. I have spoken to the media on several occasions and have been interviewed by numerous reporters regarding our issues. I believe very strongly in the hearts and courage of persons involved with the ride and recognize coordinating events of this magnitude are a difficult task and thus truly touches a special place in our hearts. The more we can do to raise support and awareness to childhood cancer the better because it has such a personal connection.
I would like to tell all the riders and persons involved with this ride that you are all truly heroes who are worthy of very special recognition in your long trek across the country. I know you dedication to the cause is an honourable one and will truly be supported by Canadians across the country. May you have a safe and supportive journey across the country and our thoughts and prayers will be with you during each day.
In closing, this illness that Madelaine has been dealing with has truly been a marathon for the entire family. Madelaine is a very brave little girl who takes everything she is subjected to in stride and often thinks of others other than herself.