Our Very Special Surprise...
We were outside playing at the end of our court, just as we are almost every afternoon.
Maddie was in her walker scooting about, and we had lots of little friends around. We see a fire engine start down our
court, which is not completely unusual for our neighborhood, as our next door neighbor, Buck, is a fire fighter. But
then we see another fire engine come. Five firemen get out and were saying hi to all of the children. Maddie is
thrilled because she loves fire trucks and she loves Buck. I say hi to Buck and ask him if he is just here to show the
kids the fire trucks. He explains, that no, they were actually here for Madison. The men gathered around us and
Buck pulls something out of his pocket. He said that the firemen got together to help Maddie and gave us a check for
$500 to help pay for her summer therapy program this summer in Michigan.
We were flabergasted. Through tears, I think I said an appropriate thank you -
but what do you say at a moment like this? It was one of the most touching experiences we have ever had. Thank
you to the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Fighters. You are amazing and generous, and we appreciate this more than you
will ever know. And thank you to our friend, Buck, who explained Madison's situation to his colleagues and made this
The firemen geared up so they could take a picture with Maddie. Maddie looks like
the proudest little girl in the whole world.
A Letter to the Firefighters, from Maddy's Daddy:
May 1, 2007
Dear Stanislaus County Firefighters Union,
We just wanted to write this letter to you regarding your recent generosity. You brought tears of joy to our
family as you presented a check for our daughter Madison to help pay for the therapy she will be attending over the summer.
This generous donation on your behalf will help alleviate some of the costs to make this therapy a reality. For those of you
that did not or do not know, Madison has Cerebral Palsy and can not walk or talk (yet), even though she is nearly three years
old. She has made great strides because of her weekly therapy and it is our hope that the summer institute will help her progress
even further. She is an amazing little girl but is so frustrated by not being able to participate with the everyday activities
that the other kids enjoy. She works hard and we know she will benefit from this therapy.
We are blessed with our little girl. You have blessed us with generosity so that Madison can make the progress
she wants. Words cannot express what a kind gesture it was that you bestowed upon our family. Instead of words, perhaps the
pictures of Madison with the firefighters who delivered the news can express our gratitude. She had a great time hanging out
with the crew and in the driver’s seat of the engine.
Firefighters deserve thanks for the many services they provide for the community on a daily basis. This service
was above the call of duty but we hope that people realize how great the things that you do truly are. Besides risking your
lives to help those in danger you brightened the hopes of the future for our daughter and gave her a terrific afternoon with
Thank you so much for the donation on Madison’s behalf. Maybe someday she will be behind the wheel of
an engine doing the same great things for other families within this great community. Thank you for all that you have done
and continue to do. May God bless each one of you and your families.
Derek, Keri, Savannah, and of course, Madison