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  • Writer's pictureChris Strub

Dear Maddie,

Madelyn Shaw is a 9 year old girl from Binghamton, NY that was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma Cancer on December 6, 2013. Ewing's is a very rare form of cancer that affects 2 in every 1 million children. Maddie is undergoing treatment at Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Maddie is a very strong, sassy young girl that has proven to have incredible strength in her fight against cancer! This is just a speed bump in the road before she gets back to being a healthy 4th grader at Horace Mann Elementary, enjoying tumbling, cheerleading and dirt bike racing.

The following is a letter to Maddie Shaw.

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Dear Maddie,

Good morning from Boston, Massachusetts!

We’ve never met, but my name is Chris. I heard about your story through your wonderful Mom, Amy, who I know through her job.

I know this is a big week for you. You’ve got a big road trip to Philadelphia tomorrow, and then your procedure will take place on Wednesday.

I’m actually taking a big road trip, too. I call it “Team Strub,” which is kind of like “Team Maddie.” A lot of people, including your Mom, have said very nice things to me about it -- about my courage, my strength, my dedication. (In fact, "Team Maddie" is sponsoring four upcoming days of my trip!)

But my strength is nothing compared to yours.

You see, I’m proud of you. Just like you, I try and keep smiling every day. Just like you, I try and make those around me happy. And just like you, I’ve got millions of awesome memories still to write.

A lot of people are cheering me on as I work my way around the country, but today, I wanted to tell those people about you, about your courage, your strength, and your dedication.

Because I know you’re a fighter. I know how proud you’ve made your Mom, and I know that once you get through this bump in the road, you’ll continue to make everyone around you smile.

You’re not here with me on this trip, but you’re with me in spirit. I’m by myself right now, but on my wrist is a yellow band with your name on it. (You can see it in a lot of my pictures!) Whenever I feel tired, or lost, or weak, I look at it and I think about how strong you are.

And, Maddie, that strength is important. That courage is super important. You mean the world to a lot of people, especially your Mom.

So this week, stay strong. Keep on fighting. I have your back, your Mom has your back, and now everyone on “Team Strub” reading this letter has your back, too.

Today, we are Team Maddie.

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