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Fundraisers scheduled to honor, benefit Westminster child

Madison Barnes
Madison Barnes (Submitted photo)

Two upcoming events, both held on Friday, July 24 will help a Westminster girl with medical bills as well as serve as a fundraiser for others.

Madison Barnes, 11, has been fighting medical issues her entire life. She was two pounds at birth and born with Down syndrome.

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"Madison is a limited verbal girl who cannot express herself, has a moderate bilateral hearing loss, seizure disorder, a feeding disorder with a [gastrostomy] tube, as well as other several serious issues," Karen Barnes, Madison's mom, said. "She is in need of multiple surgeries to repair both hips."

Currently, she is fighting to regain mobility after a January 2013 diagnosis of severe bilateral Legg Perthes. She also has hip dysplasia, a developmental deformation of the hip joint.

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"Legg Perthes is a rare, degenerative hip disease that causes the bone to lose blood flow," said Karen Barnes, Madison's mom. "The bone dies, and collapses the hip."

People are invited to come out to the Pleasant Valley Fire Hall, at 2030 Pleasant Valley Road South in Pleasant Valley, from 12:30 to 6 p.m. July 24 to donate blood in honor of Madison. You can sign up ahead of time at www.redcrossblood.org or simply drop in.

Afterward, interested individuals can stop by Chick-Fil-A, 144 Englar Road in Westminster, for lunch. When you order, tell them you are there for "Team Madison" and a portion of your bill will go toward Madison's medical bills.

Barnes said the blood drive will not specifically help her daughter, but will serve as a way to give back to the community.

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"Our family has relied on the blood bank in the past, and we would like to help give back to the community in a very influential way," she said.

Barnes said she and her husband Rob have consulted with orthopedic surgeons in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Baltimore. Because Madison has previously undergone multiple surgeries to her right hip, her options are limited.

"Madison needs bone marrow [and] stem cell treatments, Botox, hip distraction, and bone-cutting surgeries that will be phased in over the next two to three years,' Barnes said. "She's had a lot of journeys over the years. There is no cure for Legg Perthes and this is in addition to the daily struggles she faces living with Down syndrome, seizure disorder, hearing loss, and many more medical issues."

She said the family's journey since Madison's birth has been a trying one.

"For three and a half years [after Madison was born], we put our hearts and souls into trying to help Madison walk. We took her to private physical therapy in Baltimore faithfully, enlisted the help of the school system, started her in school in a [special] chair at 2 years 9 months, and provided every opportunity possible to guide her towards mobility," Barnes said.

Finally, Madison began to walk when she was 3 1/2.

"With even more help, she began to run and jump, and never stopped," Barnes said. "She quickly learned that she liked the feeling of being able to move about wherever she wanted. We stood by in amazement and realized that Madison was born to run."

Then came the Legg Perthes diagnosis. Barnes said Madison won a gold medal in the Carroll County Special Olympics for a fast walking and running event in late April, just three weeks prior to learning her second hip had collapsed.

"We have had to accept many medical issues, but they always seemed to be diagnosed, treated and managed relatively quickly. This time everything seemed different," Barnes said. "This time it is about Madison's mobility."

Barnes said her family is generally a private one, taking each medical issue in stride, but this diagnosis has been such a huge challenge that they feel the need to raise awareness.

"Perhaps Madison's journey could help others and inform families who need to make tough decisions like we have had to," she said.

Barnes said she looks for Madison to find strength, healing and acceptance.

"I want everyone to know how hard my daughter has had to work to obtain something that so many take for granted," Barnes said. "This will be the third time in her life she has to learn to walk again. The pain is indescribable and many only ever see the happy faces of Madison … not her actual journey and the pain, sweat and tears, as well as hours and hours of therapies to get her where she needs to be."

After undergoing surgery for Legg Perthes on June 24, Madison still remains at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital where she is getting daily intensive physical therapy to regain mobility.

Other events will also be held in the near future to benefit Madison and her family. From 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, you can support Madison at the Westminster Roy Rogers restaurant, 6 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster. Tell the cashier you are there for "Team Madison" and a portion of the sales will go toward her medical bills.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, you can stop by the Westminster Chick-Fil-A at any time. Mention "Team Madison" and a portion of the sales will help with her medical bills.

To learn more, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/madisonbarnes9, visit them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/hopeformadi or email Karen Barnes at rkmbarne@aol.com

Vendors needed

Trinity Lutheran Church is looking for vendors for its annual Dutch Picnic, to be held all day beginning at 9 a.m. at the church in Smallwood August 1.

The church seeks vendors with flea market items as well as crafts and collectibles.

The church is at 833 Deer Park Road in Smallwood.

Those interested in participating may call 443-340-3176 or email Picnic8497@comcast.net for forms.

Church to hold breakfast

Ascension Episcopal Church, in Westminster, will hold breakfast at the church from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1.

The cost is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 to 8, and free for children younger than 3.

Look for a breakfast buffet that will include pancakes, scrambled eggs, egg strata casserole, Hahn's sausage, French toast, cream chipped beef, hash brown potatoes, pudding, grits, oatmeal, assorted fruits and pastries, coffee, tea, chocolate milk, milk and assorted juices.

There is free parking just off Ralph Street, behind the church.

The church is at 23 N. Court Street in Westminster.

For more information, call 410-848-3251.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her call 443-293-7811 or email loisszymanski@hotmail.com.

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