February 23, 2022
Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation introduces 2022 Champion!
Madden Garraway is alive and healthy today, thanks to experts and donor-funded technology
Madden is alive today thanks to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, his big sister Everleigh and generous people in our community funding advancements in technology available to save his life. Today, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation is announcing Madden as our 2022 Champion, part of the Children’s Miracle Network Champions Program sponsored by Walmart that celebrates the life-saving, life-changing care taking place at children’s hospitals across the country. The Champion is a patient who has shown incredible courage and strength and lived above an injury or diagnosis. As Champion, Madden, 7, will be the official ambassador for the 100,000 kids and families cared for at the Alberta Children’s Hospital each year.
Right from birth, Madden was very sick and suffered from severe skin issues. When he also had low platelets, doctors suspected he had an immune disorder, however conventional tests were inconclusive. Then, when he was two, Madden ended up in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for a virus he couldn’t fight off. Left without a diagnosis, Madden’s parents worried what the future held for their son.
Thankfully, the genetics team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital was able to enter Madden in a research study that involved running his DNA through state-of-the-art Next Generation DNA sequencing technology. This technology, made possible by our generous community, revealed in only a matter of days, that Madden had a rare disorder called Immune Dysregulation Polyendocrinopathy Enteropathy X-linked (IPEX). If not diagnosed rapidly, IPEX is almost always fatal. The only cure for it is a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) to give him a new immune system. The Alberta Children’s Hospital is the largest BMT centre in western Canada and second-largest in the country, and thankfully, Madden’s big sister Everleigh could be his donor. After two BMTs, he is cured and carefree!
“Madden’s story is proof of how our generous community supporting advancements like DNA sequencing and BMT technologies can help transform care at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and we are deeply grateful,” says Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Seeing Madden today, so sweet and smart, with a desire to share his story to help the hospital and inspire hope – which is exactly what the Alberta Children’s Hospital is all about – makes him a true champion.”
Today Madden is a happy, creative, and very energetic boy who loves playing games with his sister. He is certainly living proof of the difference a diagnosis can make. To his family, he will always be a Champion, thanks to the experts at the hospital, and people who help make it the world-class facility that it is.
“The fact that we had access to DNA sequencing right here, in our own backyard, I’m beyond thankful,” says Madden’s mom Danielle. “Without those doctors, researchers and people in our community who give back to the hospital, I wouldn’t have a son. There are no words as to how grateful we are.”
About the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation
The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation inspires our community to invest in excellence in child health, research and family centred care. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation provides funding for innovative programs, state-of-the-art equipment, advanced medical training and internationally-recognized pediatric research. The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation is a founding partner of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, as well as the primary funder.
About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Walmart Canada’s flagship online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 750,000 customers daily. With more than 85,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada’s largest employers and is ranked one of the country’s top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada’s extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $400 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca, facebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/walmartcanada.
About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network is a non-profit organization helping kids by raising funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. In Canada, Children’s Miracle Network fundraising supports 14 children’s hospitals coast to coast. In 2014 our partners helped raise more than $50 million dollars to fund life-saving equipment, specialized programs and groundbreaking research.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Associate, Communications
Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation