For Maddie Star

It breaks my heart to share the news that Madison passed away yesterday morning. She passed peacefully in her sleep, and was at home with her family. She was three and a half.

In her honor and memory, Jungle Fitness hosted a boot-camp training this morning. I was enthused about it last night, but when I woke up this morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. I debated with myself the reasons why I should go, and Maddie’s beautiful legacy got me out the door.

This was my first boot-camp experience, and I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it would be intense, and I would probably struggle with some of the exercises. Once I got there and saw everyone supporting Maddie’s dad Chris (who is a part of the Jungle Fitness family) and the rest of the Schafer family, I knew I did the right thing by going.

As Jungle Fitness founder Edwin said a few words before the training began, a rainbow appeared in the sky behind him. Four balloons were released, three yellow ones and a gold Star (Maddie’s middle name), and the workout began.

Maddie was with us the whole time. The sun kept shining while a rain
shower came by and was just above us. It cooled us down and kept everyone going. I took a couple of breaks, not used to the intensity, and I wasn’t able to do the four mile run at the end of the training (my legs were just too sore, and my sides were stitching), but I remained there, supporting all these people who gave up their Saturday mornings to honor the memory of a beautiful little girl. In a matter of 2 hours, this training session raised over $2600.

In her short time on this earth, Maddie touched so many lives. She taught us to be strong and never give up hope. She’s an angel now, but there’s still a fight to win against AT/RT and pediatric cancer, and it’s up to us to keep fighting in her memory.

Rest in peace, beautiful Star. We will never forget you.

(Image: Chris Schafer)

For Madison’s Story, click here.

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