Paul and Betsy LeTourneau had just completed the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon last May, when their world came crashing down.
"We went from the proverbial runner's high to the ultimate low in life," Paul explains.
His wife discovered a mysterious lump in their baby's belly. Betsy says, "I could tell from the look on her doctor's face that something was not right."
Tests confirmed that one-year-old Madyson had Rhabdomyosarcoma .
"It was scary. It was a big long word that I had not really heard of," Betsy said.
Rhabdomyosarcoma Is a rare, malignant tumor involving muscle or connective tissue. It accounts for 3% of childhood cancers.
Little Madyson underwent 43 weeks of treatment, which included surgery to remove the mass, chemotherapy, and radiation.
"Anytime you see your child go through that, you would give anything to take that from them and take it on yourself," explains Paul.
The family of five was separated for over a month while Madyson received radiation at the MACC Fund clinic in Milwaukee. Betsy and her daughter stayed at the Ronald McDonald House which is just $20 a night, or free if you can't afford it.
"Being able to have that home away from home after a long day at the hospital, and not have to worry about how it's going to impact you financially, is such an amazing blessing, and it takes a huge load off of your shoulders."
In March, Madyson finally rang the bell, symbolizing the end of her cancer treatment. The family celebrated with a trip to Disney World.
"It just meant so much to be able to get away and spend time as a family and sort of feel normal again," Betsy said.
Now back in Oconto and cancer free, the LeTourneaus want to pay it forward. They're organizing the Miles 4 Madyson run/walk to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House to help more families, and the MACC Fund to conduct more research.
Betsy says, "Both causes are near and dear to our heart, and we really just know that without research, the cure is so much further away."
Miles 4 Madyson will wind through Oconto on May 14th, bringing the LeTourneau's cancer journey full circle.
"We think that she has big things in store for her," Betsy says.
Paul adds, "We've been very blessed in life, and we just want to give it back."
The LeTourneaus hope to raise $14,000 to help other families get through their battle, while also celebrating Madyson's fighting spirit.
The 5K and 10K walk/run is being held Saturday, May 14th at 8:30am in Oconto.
Click here for more information and to register.