Remembering Mady by giving back to RMHC families
Each November, just about the time our shelves start looking a bit bare, Heather and JR Jacobs fill them with items from their annual supply drive in honor of their daughter, Madyson. Mady was diagnosed with Walker-Warburg Syndrome, a rare form of muscular dystrophy and died in 2012. Her life was filled with numerous doctor visits and trips to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, but her parents, JR and Heather, made her a big part of the community of Lena, Illinois. While she was in the hospital, her parents stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Madison. Mady defied the odds and lived to be five years old.
“Mady’s Pantry supply drive is the largest single donation of wish list items of the year,” said House Director Tara Hensley. “It is a beautiful way to remember Mady while helping other families dealing with the illness of a child. The Jacobs family’s generosity is an inspiration to us all.”
Sullivan’s Food in Lena served as the collection point where the whole community could get involved and donate items. This is the fourth year for the drive. The family, including JR, Heather, grandma, grandpa and brothers, Braden, 10, and Brody, 4, drove a truck and trailer and van filled with items they collected totaling more than $12,000 and also helped unload them into the pantry.
“J.R. and I again are at a loss of words for the unbelievable turnout to Mady’s Pantry this year. We had our largest drive to date! We started this charity in honor of Mady four years ago to remember her, and pay forward to the Ronald McDonald House. We are so honored to represent our community, friends and family with this donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison. I know our sweet baby girl is smiling down, and her heart is full knowing the generosity of everybody. Mady was only with us on earth for a short time, but she continues to inspire each and every day,” Heather said.