Mighty Maddy’s Mission: Eau Claire family continues September tradition of honoring young daughter lost to cancer

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - An Eau Claire family is continuing its yearly tradition to honor their daughter and sister who passed away from cancer at just nine years old.

Maddy Odegard’s three year battle with cancer ended in 2017. Her parents say her wish was to help other kids and families going through cancer treatment, the inspiration behind Mighty Maddy’s Mission.

“She was just a loving caring girl,” said Maddy’s dad, Josh. “She wasn’t here to see it through so we are carrying it on for her.”

The organization raises money to provide baskets, toys and other support to kids with cancer.

Every September in honor of Maddy and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Odegard Family invites people to participate in the “You’ve Been Sparkled” campaign, placing butterflies in yards of homes and hospitals.

“Butterflies are just a sign of hope and rebirth,” Josh said.

The idea, is families who have been “sparkled” will take the butterflies and “sparkle” other families, each time raising more awareness for Mighty Maddy’s Mission.

On Friday, the Odegards “sparkled” the garden outside the Cancer Center at Marshfield Medical Center in Eau Claire.

“I like doing it because I think it will bring joy to kids going through tough times,” said Maddy’s 11-year-old sister, Isabella.

Patients will be able to see the butterflies from their windows as they receive treatment and feel the support of Mighty Maddy’s Mission.

“Not everyone has family or friends that can provide support so our staff provides support so when we can provide things they can’t get themselves like water bottles and hats they feel less helpless and like they have someone there for them,” said Erica Swaner, Regional Oncology Manager & Respiratory Therapist at the Cancer Center.

The Odegard family hopes when people see these colorful butterflies around town, they’ll continue to think of Maddy and her mission.

To donate to Mighty Maddy’s Mission, click here.

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