Dublin girl chosen to be a 'Miracle Mile Patient'
Madison Reed has outlived the predictions of doctors and will next month be part of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon.
The Dublin 16-year-old was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 at 7 months old, a disease that allows most sufferers to live only a few years.
Despite bouts with illness and respiratory problems, Madison celebrated her 16th birthday this year and will be the Miracle Mile Patient Champion for mile 26 of the Columbus Marathon.
For each mile, Nationwide Children's Hospital has chosen a different child that has been treated there.
Madison will have a spot near the end of the race and cross the finish line as she participates in the last 0.2 miles, said her mother, Annette Reed.
Madison will also have a team in the marathon, "Run Wild, Never Look Back."
"It's named after a Big Time Rush song," said Madison's aunt, Michelle Worrellia, who is leading the team.
"She's a big fan," Worrellia said.
"She's met them every time she's gone to one of their concerts."
The Oct. 20 event will be the fourth half marathon Worrellia has run for her niece.
"It's all because of her," Worrellia said, adding that she has run two Disney Princess Half Marathons and the half marathon at the 2012 Columbus Marathon.
"The biggest dilemma to overcome was that I'm not a runner," Worrellia said.
But with lots of training, she participated in the run that goes through Epcot, down Main Street USA and into the Disney castle.
The Columbus Half Marathon wasn't as scenic, but seeing all the Miracle Mile Patients, inspired Worrellia to keep on running.
"It's cool to have kids there," she said.
"It's a motivator. It's enough to make you go to the next mile."
A team in the Columbus Marathon is a good way to raise awareness of SMA and money for Nationwide Children's Hospital, which funds research into SMA, Worrellia said.
"It's the most complicated disease I've ever seen," she said. "You gotta feel sorry for these kids."
SMA causes muscle weakness and degeneration.
Madison uses a wheelchair for mobility and lost some strength and weight a few years ago when there were problems with her diet, Reed said.
"She's a big fighter," she said of her daughter.
"She loves life. We try to do whatever we can.
"We give her the choice to do things," Reed said. "It's important to have her make the decision."
Madison could easily get sick on her outings, but isn't letting SMA ruin her fun, recently visiting Disney World.
"We've had a lot of support from Dublin schools and the community in general," Reed said.
"We had an event for 10 years then she got sick so I had to focus on Madison."
Donations can be made to Madison's Columbus Marathon team, Run Wild, Never Look Back, by searching for Worrellia or the team at nationwidechildrens.kintera.org.
The public can also keep up with Madison on Facebook by following "Fight Cure SMA -- Miracle for Madison & Friends."