'Miles 4 Madyson' returns to Oconto to help families battling cancer

5k and 10k run/walk will be May 13
Posted at 10:45 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 23:45:47-04

What a difference a year has made for three-year-old Madyson LeTourneau and her family.

Last April, little Madyson was just finishing treatment for her battle with cancer. Now, tests show the spunky toddler is cancer-free.

"We loved seeing her little bald head, but we love seeing her moppy hair now," said Paul LeTourneau, Madyson's father.

Madyson has come a long way since her diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma when she was just one. She endured 43 weeks of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to destroy a rare, malignant tumor in her belly.

"It's definitely hard to look back but at the same time, it shows you how far you've come," Betsy said. 

Just two weeks ago, Madyson's routine scans found no trace of disease, meaning she's now been cancer-free for one full year. 

"We'll never go back to the way it was before, because it will always be in the back of your mind, but when you hear that news, it just really lets you breathe a sigh of relief," Paul said.

The medical report came just as the family returned from Madyson's Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World.

"For her to get that and be able to really just be treated like royalty and like a princess was very rewarding for us," said Paul.

Now, the family is focusing on organizing the second annual "Miles 4 Madyson" 5k and 10k races in Oconto.

The first event last spring brought in 578 participants and $25,000 to benefit the MACC Fund and the Ronald McDonald House.

"When we presented that check to them, they were like, 'wow,'" Betsy said. 

"It's kind of an addiction, because once you do it, you want to continue to do it because you can see how that contribution can make life easier for other families," Paul explained.

The money raised will help the MACC Fund continue researching a cure for pediatric cancer, and will allow other Northeast Wisconsin families to stay at the low cost Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee like Madyson did during treatment.

"Even in our own community now, there are families going through something very similar to what we're going through, and so we want to continue to support those families and support the community," explained Betsy.

At this year's event, runners and walkers at Miles 4 Madyson can also celebrate this little fighter's progress kicking cancer and being able to just enjoy being a kid.

The second annual Miles 4 Madyson is being held Saturday, May 13, beginning and ending at LeTourneau Plastics in Oconto.

This year, participants will receive a free Green Bay Blizzard ticket to attend a football game the night of the race.

For more information on Miles 4 Madyson, visit their website here.