WAYNESBORO — Maddelyn (Maddie) Yohe is 10 years old and battling a rare and deadly childhood cancer. Last year her parents were told she had but a year to live after a diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Carcinoma.
So far, she’s beat the odds, but the battle isn’t over.
The spunky fighter has come a long way since that initial diagnosis at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in April 2018. When first diagnosed, the cancer was from head to toe in her body, her parents Josh and Sarah Yohe said.
Maddie was in a lot of pain and could no longer walk on her own. The outlook was grim. Plans were made to begin treatment with chemotherapy. There were the warnings, the concerns.Josh Yohe
But Maddie is a fighter, and her condition began to improve after every round of chemo. By the last scheduled round of chemo was over, she could again walk on her own and she was declared in remission.
Cancer Returns, Treatment Resumes
But the family’s celebration and feeling that their world would soon return to normal were short lived. A few months later their worst nightmares were realized. Sarah and Josh were told the cancer was back.
A new round of chemo began with a different drug.
Meanwhile, the time Sarah and Josh took off to care for their daughter during her fight for life affected the family’s income. Josh lost his job. Sarah had already stopped working to be with Maddie and take care of her around the clock during the fight to defeat the cancer that had attacked the young child.
Josh took real estate classes and now has his license. Because he is new, he is still building a clientele and financial issues still exist for the family.
Doctors told Josh and Sarah there was only a 21% chance the new treatment would help. There was no promise it would even bring the deadly cancer into remission again.
But Maddie is a fighter, and the results were surprising. After two rounds the new chemo treatment was working, and working well. Hershey’s pediatric oncologists decided to jump on the progress and add radiation to the treatment plan. So Maddie started radiation treatments last February.
The radiation treatments in between rounds of chemo left Maddie with a lot of side effects. She couldn’t attend classes at Fairview Elementary School. Instead, she completed 5th grade in the Waynesboro Area School District’s Homebound Program.
In April, Maddie was declared in remission for the second time. But her doctors are not
comfortable stopping the chemo yet, so she still receives those treatments every four weeks.
Clinging to Hope
Her parents cling to the hope that their beautiful, spunky daughter will be able to attend 6th grade at Waynesboro Area Middle School in the fall. It is still a wait and see situation, but Maddie is making her plans and her parents are more encouraged than they have been since her initial diagnosis over a year ago.
Meanwhile, they try to keep some normalcy in their lives. Sarah has returned to work but doesn’t work the full schedule she once did. Maddie still needs regular trips to the doctors and has her once a month radiation treatments.
Josh has completed his the real estate coursework and is a licensed Real Estate Agent now. He is working hard to help reverse the family’s loss of his prior income, but in his words “things are slow when you are new.”
Stylists at New Reflections know their fundraising efforts won’t replace the lost income the family has experienced in the last year, but they hope it will help pay at least part of the expenses associated with having a critically ill child.
“We are firm believers that children need a strong support system, especially in these situations,” Jillian Salmon, Manager at New Reflections Salon LLC, said. “We would like to lessen the financial burden of their situation in hopes for the most positive outcome, which is that she stays in remission this time.”
The fundraising event includes a gift basket raffle and a bake sale. All of the proceeds will go to the family.
How You Can Help:
Get your summer haircut and help support Maddie Yohe during her ongoing battle of Neuroendocrine Carcinoma.
Basic Haircuts will be offered at $10.
The event will include raffle baskets and baked goods available through donation.
New Reflections Salon
704 S. Potomac St.
Monday, July 15th 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
ALL PROCEEDS go to the Yohe family.