Eight-year-old Maddie Luke is just like any other little girl who likes to have fun.
“We just want to keep going further and further and further until we can find a cure,” says Ashley Loper, who is Maddie’s mom.
However, at just two weeks old, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
“Even when she was a baby, she always had a fighter spirit. She really didn’t ever let cystic fibrosis get to her or really determine anything that she does. Its not some thing that she talks about daily, its not something that she lets slow her down any bit.” -Loper
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. In Maddie’s case, she has to do breathing treatments and take enzymes because she cannot digest proteins and fats. Due to this, she has to eat an influx of calories. Through the course of her life so far, Maddie has had 11, 972 breathing treatments, has spent 32 days in the hospital, has had 3,060 hours on her vest, and 36,500 enzymes.
Maddie says, “The most thing I like to eat because of CF is milkshakes. Dad: ‘How many pieces of bacon did you eat this morning? 12?’ No, 13, probably.’”
While she engages in activities such as gymnastics, she gets tired easily and also has to be extra careful in not catching colds. Two years ago, she caught a cold and spent time in the hospital, was on IV antibiotics at home for 6 to 8 months, and then she had to take antibiotics by mouth for 18 months just to make sure she was rid of it.
“I don’t want cystic fibrosis to define her or be a crutch on anything for her. I want her to go through the moon and stars. I want her to achieve everything, and we’ll be in her corner cheering her on the whole way.” -Loper
There will be an event held at Lazy Acres on the 27th to raise awareness about the disease and funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It will include various activities for families to enjoy such as a glow run, silent auction, a pumpkin carving contest, and much more. Maddie will be in attendance and wants everyone to come out and support kids like her. For more information, visit shinealightoncf.passioncff.org or call 601-981-3100 or 601-938-9441.
“My family is my biggest inspiration because they just help me support who I am and who I will be. They just help me know who I’m going to be.” -Maddie