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Meet Madeline: 2021 Family Advocacy Week Champion

Madeline is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from June 13-18, 2021. Through this event, Madeline and her family will discuss her health journey, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s role in providing Madeline with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Madeline.

When Madeline was 13 years old, she woke up one morning with rashes all over her body. The rashes came and went for a few days, along with extremely high fevers and intense pain.

After a few weeks of this and several doctors’ appointments, Madeline was sent to Lawrence Zemel, M.D., a rheumatologist at Connecticut Children’s. She was diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS).

“The diagnosis was scary, overwhelming and confusing,” says Caroline, Madeline’s mother. “We slowly began to learn about SJIA and how it would impact Madeline’s life.”

Now 16 years old, Madeline is doing great. She loves playing soccer and running in track and field events.

“The care we received at the CT Children’s Hospital was incredible,” says Caroline. “We were not only more than confident in the medical care that Madeline received, but we were endlessly grateful for the compassion.”


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