Health Team

Family praises medical and personal care at Duke

Posted February 15, 2011 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2011 6:15 p.m. EST

— Tim and Cara Sargent remember the feeling of despair when they first learned their daughter, Maddie, had leukemia more than two years ago.

“She looked at both of us and she said, ‘Don't worry about me guys. I'm going to kick leukemia right in the tail,’” Cara Sargent said. “We had to have the same outlook.”

Maddie, now 9, was treated at Duke Children's Hospital. Her parents praised the medical care and " time and effort they put into making an awful experience as good as you can possibly make it,” Tim Sargent said.

While Maddie was hospitalized, the staff at Duke tried to get the Jonas Brothers, who were in Raleigh for a concert, to drop by to visit Maddie. Instead, they sent a video expressing their admiration for her.

“And I said, ‘Oh they love me!,’” Maddie recalls. “It was just so hard to keep down.”

After her treatment was complete, it took more than a year before she could get back to her first love, being a flyer at Wake Forest All-Stars gymnastics and cheerleading.

“She went through something that most of us will never go through,” Maddie's cheerleading coach Shannon Young said. “She's come out of the other end of it stronger and we're glad to have her back”

Maddie will continue to visit Duke every six months for blood tests to make sure her cancer hasn’t returned.

MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM is holding a Radiothon to raise money for Duke Children's Hospital. It runs through Thursday.