Madison Emily was born in Montreal on June 3rd, 2003 to her parents Saundra and Doug Costantini and we quickly adopted the short form of Maddie…

She was the eldest of 2 girls, her younger sister, Kayla, was born on June 8th, 2005.

Maddie spent the first three years of her life in Montreal, speaking and learning both English and French. She was always an independent, spunky, fun loving little girl who was extremely inclusive (hated to see anyone left out and sad), a strong motherly figure to others, she loved telling jokes even though most were not overly funny, and she adored her sister who knew exactly how to push her buttons.

When we moved to Oakville in 2007 Maddie started school in full French at Ecole Ste. Marie where she developed some very close friendships.

Maddie was very mature for her age and for her 8th birthday she asked all her friends to bring new unwrapped toys to her party, as she wanted to donate them and did not want anything for herself. She also encouraged her younger sister to do the same for her 6th birthday.

Maddie grew up trying various sports and activities (tennis, soccer, piano, basketball, triathlons and skating) and finally found her passion in swimming and skiing just before she got sick. She was an avid Girl Guide where she made many great friends while loving the camps and guiding getaways…away from her family!

On August 24th, 2013, 10 year old Maddie completed her third TriKids Triathlon with her sister and friends. The devastating journey began on August 30-31, 2013, when we noticed her left eye was droopy; her neck tilted to the left and she was slightly off balance. Tuesday after Labour Day 2013, we called our doctor for an appointment on the Thursday, Sept. 5th, 2013. This was the day that everything changed for Maddie and us as a family of four.

Within hours we were told that she had a tumour in her brainstem, that she had been dealt a death sentence. Her tumour was a called a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glyoma (DIPG), and it was just a matter of time before she died; all they could do for her was mange the tumour in hopes of giving her a little more time with her family and friends. This was the day, our lives the way we knew it ended forever.

Maddie endured 30 rounds of radiation beginning on September 11th, 2013 at Princess Margaret Hospital thru SickKids, which reduced the tumour and diminished her symptoms about 95%.

Her tumour returned with a vengeance January 23rd, 2014, exactly 3 months after her final round of radiation.

During the 9 months that Maddie was sick, we were very honest with both her and her sister and therefore, they both knew that there was a strong possibility Maddie’s life would be shortened. As a family we created Maddie’s Bucket List and began checking things off. We traveled as much as possible which included a Make-A-Wish trip to the Bahamas to swim with the dolphins; she spent time with friends and family, she made a Sister Scrapbook for Kayla, wrote cards to her close friends and sister, celebrated her 10 ¾ birthday along with her 11th birthday, had a daddy/uncle Master Chef cook-off; and simply tried to cherish every moment together. We developed the slogan “Live Every Moment” and we continue to honour that to this day.

Maddie’s greatest fear was that she would never see her family and friends again. That everyone would move on and she would be forgotten forever.

On June 7th, 2014 Maddie died in her sleep, four days after turning 11 years old and 1 day before her sister Kayla’s 9th birthday. That day Maddie became our Little Angel!