Madison Kautz’ story
It rained on almost every milestone of Madison’s life—even on the day she died. But if you knew Madison, the significance wasn’t the darkness that defined those days. It was the sun, magic and colorful rainbows that followed.
Brain cancer took her life… a day after her third birthday. She was a gift that colored the lives of everyone she touched.
My charismatic, always—laughing little girl lived with brain cancer for nearly 300 days. But she never complained. She endured awful physical symptoms and exhausting treatment. But Madison’s suffering only magnified her strength. She earned 15½ feet of “courage beads.” Each bead signified a brave event—each one a special gift from her nurses.
Madison wasn’t scared—and didn’t act like she was dying. In the hospital she packed her bags for preschool, slept with a stethoscope hoping to be a doctor one day and ordered BBQ sauce on her toast just because. She made a point to show people how much they meant to her. On a tough day, I remember her patting me on the back saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
But when her options ran out, I felt she should be home with Grandma, Grandpa and me. I was right. Coming home brought back her smile—the one that disappeared for a while. I turned to Ridgeview Hospice for help and support during those final days. The accessibility of their caring nursing staff, music therapy and comforting services brought peace for my family and me during that precious time. Ridgeview Hospice helped Madison get her smile back. And it gave me the time to thank her, love her and say good-bye. —Madison’s mom Madison endured so much. But thanks to Ridgeview Hospice and the love and strength of her mom, Madison’s smile remained to the very end. She was a brave little sprite who colored the lives of everyone she touched. Madison Kautz will be remembered this Memorial Day.
Ridgeview nurses say I was a pillar of strength, so calm and collected for a young, single mom. I owe it to Madison. She filled my life with confidence, a positive outlook on life and a never-ending will to smile.
Madison took her last breath as we snuggled together in bed. My mom was there. After a moment she pointed my attention to the wall. The night-light cast a shadow that resembled an angel’s wing. She traced it quickly before it disappeared—and it’s still there today. I still smile, knowing Madison earned her angel wings.
May is an emotional month for me as I honor Madison’s birthday, her death, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. If it rains on any of those days, look at the colors outside after it stops—and think of Madison Raaine Kautz.
She was an inspirational patient, daughter, granddaughter, cousin, niece, friend—and a champion for hundreds of families that could benefit from Ridgeview Hospice.
Please give to this essential program. It gave Madison her smile back. And it gave me the time to thank her, love her and say good-bye.
I am hopeful for your vital support and passion for a program that impacts lives.