‘So she’s never forgotten:’ Donation drive held for local girl who died fighting cancer

Even in her darkest hours, Madison Smallwood found the strength to spread love and kindness to others.

12 Days of Madison: Donation drive underway in honor of Monroe girl

MONROE, Ohio (FOX19) - This holiday season, a Monroe woman is spreading kindness in her daughter’s name by giving back to others in the community.

It is a way to honor Madison Smallwood, a young girl who died after fighting cancer.

Madison’s mother, Lori Smallwood, says Madison always looked forward to December, in part because she loved Christmas, but also because it brought her birthday.

“Madison was an inspiration,” Lori said. “She had a strength that was like no other.”

Although Madison died in 2019 at 12 years old, her legacy lives on, especially during the holiday season. Pink and yellow, known in Monroe as ‘Madison’s colors,’ shine brightly at the Smallwood home.

“She just was always so positive and an outlook that she had that she just truly makes me want to keep that memory alive of her,” Lori said.

Even in her darkest hours, Madison found the strength to spread love and kindness to others. She was always looking for another way to give back.

[RELATED: ‘I want to be able to pay it forward:’ Monroe remembers Madison Smallwood one year after her death]

Madison Smallwood died in 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Madison Smallwood died in 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. (Source: Provided)

“We have done many fundraisers for the hospital where we did different fundraisers for the kids on the floor because we were there at one time,” Lori said.

In the spirit of the season, Lori is continuing her daughter’s mission with a donation drive called the 12 Days of Madison. From Dec. 1-12, which is Madison’s birthday, Lori is collecting donations for the families of two local children currently fighting cancer.

“Gas or food or medical, food gift cards, store gift cards to be able to help maybe buy Christmas gifts because, you know, their world has been completely changed,” Smallwood said.

It is an act of generosity that reflects who Madison was at her core. She has been described as a kind-hearted and giving child who wanted to make the world a better place, and it is clear that even in her short life, she did.

“I miss my daughter a lot, and I know she’s going to be proud of us and what we choose to do, and I do it so she’s never forgotten,” Lori said.

Lori started the donation drive tradition in 2019 and says she plans to continue it every year. So far, she says she’s only $600 away from her goal for 2020.

Lori is not revealing the names of the families involved because the donations are going to be a surprise gift.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so through PayPal at TeamMadisonMonroe@gmail.com or through Venmo at @Lori-Smallwood-9.

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