Maddy Brandl began her fight against cancer in 2014 as a fourth grader at Homestead Elementary. Over the course of her two year battle, she inspired teachers and classmates alike with her unrelenting courage and steadfast joy in the midst of her struggle.
In November 2015, as medical expenses began to pile up for Maddy’s family, her school and community came together to host a “Run for Maddy”, raising funds to help offset the overwhelming financial burden her family was facing. The Run for Maddy was intended as a one-time event to help her family financially and support the family emotionally. There was an amazing outpouring of community support for Maddy that day. Maddy ran and walked the course that day, hand-in-hand with friends and teachers, living up to her nickname of Maddy “Strong” Brandl.
Before Maddy passed away in April 2016, her mother Jenny recalled a particularly difficult stretch of days in which Maddy’s infectious smile was noticeably absent. One afternoon during that tough week, Jenny told her daughter about plans for the run to continue on every year to help other children and their families. Maddy’s face lit up with a smile for the first time in days. That was her wish! And so we carry out her wish and honor the memory of the strong and selfless 11-year-old girl who taught us to Live Well, Laugh Often and Run Strong.