This is one of the saddest, yet happiest, stories that I have written about in a long time. Only about 12,000 people live in the little town of Monroe, Ohio but a remarkable 11-year-old girl that lives there is capturing hearts all over the nation. Madison “Maddie” Smallwood has been battling bone cancer for several years, and the long-term prognosis does not look promising. Facing that kind of challenge would be way too much for many young girls her age, but not for Madison. She has decided that she is going to live life to the fullest no matter how long she has. So she has made a “bucket list” and is trying to complete as many items on it as she can while she still has time. And no matter how her story ultimately plays out, she will always be remembered as a warrior that was an inspiration to millions of Americans.
According to her mother, Madison has already been through a total of 5 surgeries, 23 rounds of radiation and 30 rounds of chemo…
At only eight-years-old, she learned that she has cancer.
“She was diagnosed with stage four Osteosarcoma, which is a bone cancer,” said Lori Smallwood, Maddie’s mom. “She has undergone major leg surgery, four lung surgeries, and then, she’s done 30 rounds of chemo and 23 rounds of radiation.”
I can’t even imagine going through 30 rounds of chemo, and she has done it at just 11 years old.
Tragically, after all of that treatment the prognosis has not improved…
“The prognosis that they tell is that right now the tumor is inoperable,” said the girl’s mother.
But instead of dwelling on the negative, Madison is busy trying to complete her bucket list. One of the items on her bucket list was to go to prom, and recently her school helped fulfill that wish in an incredibly gracious manner…
One of the things Maddie has said she wanted to do was go to prom. The Monroe community made that a reality Wednesday night when they hosted “Maddie Smallwood’s Fifth Grade Prom” at the Lodge at Lake Lyndsay in Hamilton. There was food, dessert, a DJ, photographers and even a limo. Nearly everything, including the space itself, was a donation, according to Lori Smallwood.
“The love and the support is beyond me,” she said.
Madison’s classmates from Monroe Elementary, future sixth graders, attended the prom. Four boys even escorted her as her “dates.”
What an amazing story.
Yes, sometimes good things still happen in our world, and you can keep up with Madison’s story as it continues by visiting the “Team Madison” page on Facebook.
Sadly, more children than ever are developing cancer as cancer rates rise all over the nation. The following numbers come from the National Cancer Institute…
-In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease.
-The number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 439.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2011–2015 cases).
–Approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes (based on 2013–2015 data).
-Estimated national expenditures for cancer care in the United States in 2017 were $147.3 billion. In future years, costs are likely to increase as the population ages and cancer prevalence increases. Costs are also likely to increase as new, and often more expensive, treatments are adopted as standards of care.
Of that 147.3 billion dollars, more than 100 billion dollars was spent on cancer drugs, and that is a national disgrace. The drug companies are becoming exceedingly wealthy off of this cancer epidemic, and that is just wrong.
Nobody should be taking advantage of the suffering of cancer victims such as Madison.
Chemo is a particularly troubling area. Many oncologists tend to push chemo extremely hard, and that is because they make a tremendous amount of money doing it…
According to the research of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame, “Oncologists are some of the highest paid doctors, their average income is increasing faster than any other specialist in the medical field, and more than half their income comes from selling and administering chemotherapy.”
Yes you read that right. Oncologists make a huge profit, as much as two-thirds of their income in some cases, from chemotherapy drugs.
Their business model is very different from other doctors because you can’t buy chemotherapy drugs at your local pharmacy.
Oncologists buy these drugs direct at wholesale prices, then they mark them up and bill the insurance companies. This legal profiting on drugs by doctors is unique to the cancer treatment world. They’re making money off the drugs that they insist you take to save your life. That’s a HUGE conflict of interest. They’re selling you the drugs, and charging you for the privilege of putting them in your body. No other doctor can do that.
The more research that I do on the cancer industry the angrier that I tend to get.
As far as childhood cancer rates specifically, I kept finding different numbers.
One source said that childhood cancer has gone up 13 percent during the past two decades…
Childhood cancers have risen across the globe by 13% over 20 years, according to data from the World Health Organization’s cancer section.
Cancer in children is comparatively rare; when it does occur it is more likely to have been triggered by something in the child’s genetic makeup than by anything to do with lifestyle or the environment.
Another source said that childhood cancer has increased 27 percent in kids under 19 since 1975…
Still, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says there has been a significant increase in the overall rate of childhood cancers in recent decades — up 27% since 1975 in kids under age 19, according to data collected by the NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.
And most of that increase seems to have been driven by leukemia and lymphoma…
The rise seems to be driven, in large part, by an increase in leukemia, which is up almost 35% since 1975. Leukemia is the most common cancer in kids. Soft tissue cancers, like those that develop in bones or muscles, are up nearly 42%. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is up 34%.
Another source from the UK claimed that the cancer rate among children has risen 40 percent over the last 16 years…
Modern life is killing children with the number of youngsters diagnosed with cancer rising 40 percent in the past 16 years because of air pollution, pesticides, poor diets and radiation, scientists have warned.
But what everybody agrees on is that cancer rates are rising. Over the long-term, the rise in cancer rates among the general population is absolutely staggering…
We have lost the war on cancer. At the beginning of the last century, one person in twenty would get cancer. In the 1940s it was one out of every sixteen people. In the 1970s it was one person out of ten. Today one person out of three gets cancer in the course of their life.
And world health experts tell us that the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase by about 70 percent over the next two decades.
Just think about that for a moment.
We are facing an epidemic of unprecedented proportions, and the medical community seems helpless to stop it.
If you live in the United States today, there is a better than 1 in 3 chance that you will get cancer during your lifetime.
If you are male, the odds are closer to 1 in 2.
Something needs to be done, because way too many good people are dying before their time.
Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.