Goffstown girl feels the love in her fight against cancerBy CASSIDY SWANSON
Union Leader Correspondent August 27. 2015 9:36PM
GOFFSTOWN — Friends, family and supporters of Maddie Carlson, a 16-year-old rising junior at Goffstown High School with rare bone cancer, will gather tonight for a party in her honor to raise funds for her medical bills.
Maddie, who lives in Goffstown, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in her left arm in May. She is undergoing over 30 weeks of treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital, where today she will receive a nine-hour surgery on her shoulder. Doctors will remove the bone in hopes of getting the cancer out and replacing it with a donor shoulder bone.
Patty Gale, John Salizzoni and Christine Lewis are part of a team for the “Reach the Beach” relay race from Bretton Woods to Hampton Beach coming up next month, out of TI Fitness Training in Manchester. They are running to raise money for Maddie and have organized the “Rock’n Luau for Maddie,” being held tonight at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester.
As of Thursday afternoon, over 400 people had registered for the party, raising nearly $50,000.
Salizzoni, of Amherst, is a family friend of the Carlsons. He has known Maddie’s father, Drew, since college, and said Maddie calls him and his wife her uncle and aunt.
Salizzoni said Maddie’s cancer is not metastatic at this time, and recovery rates for Ewing’s sarcoma are usually between 60 and 70 percent. She does run the risk if her surgery is not successful.
“She’s a fighter; she’s awesome,” he said of Maddie. “She’s so positive, but she’s got to be nervous.”
Gale, of Goffstown, only just met Maddie on Wednesday night, but felt compelled to help any way she could.
“I couldn’t imagine anyone saying no (to helping),” she said. “If this was my daughter — oh my God, I just can’t imagine what they’re going through.
On her way down to Boston for her surgery, Maddie said she was sad she wouldn’t be able to attend her party, but grateful for all the support she and her family were receiving, and that she was optimistic about her procedure.
“I just keep a positive attitude all the time, because I know there’s people that are going through worse things,” she said. “I’m going to get through this because I have so much support from everyone…It makes such a difference in my life.”
Maddie’s mom, Cathy, said her family was humbled by the outpouring of love and support from the community.
“It’s often overwhelming, because the support is incredible,” she said. “It makes me realize how good and how empathic people are.”
Tickets for the Rock’n Luau for Maddie can be purchased at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rockn-luau-for-maddie-tickets-17586027281. To follow Maddie’s journey, visit http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-madeline-kick-cancer-s-/354133.