Five Questions For/From The Real Maddie
Five Questions for the Authors
It is kind of weird, but it’s also pretty cool.
Not exactly. That’s the story version of me. But it is pretty close. I do really like potatoes and mustaches and enjoy acting in plays. And my elementary school really did do Shakespeare scenes. I wasn’t Juliet though; I was Petruchio from Taming of the Shrew. I got to wear a long golden cape, and a cool hat. And my friend even drew a mustache on me. It was pretty awesome. I also like to read, draw, and crochet.
Cassie wasn’t based on a real person and some of the situations at school in this book are different from my life. But I did have troubles with some girls and I really did make up games to help me make new friends. I made great friends, including Claire, Ashley, Emma, Nieve, Lauren, Aubrey, and Kate.
The part about my tumor is pretty accurate, except the surgeries were about a year and half apart, instead of just months.
I think everyone who reads this book should realize the moral of the story is …
Drum roll please …
To love potatoes and mustaches!
Okay, probably not really. There’s more to it.
I learned a lot through my friend troubles and surgeries. Like, small acts of kindness can go a long way. A really long way. And when things are rough, you can always find a way to laugh.
I have tried really hard to be friends with everyone. We don’t always realize what trials other people are going through. Sometimes it takes bravery to be kind to some people. But we need to always stick up for what’s right. You can do it. Any time, anywhere, you can have compassion. Everybody needs a friend and that friend can be you. So show them that you truly care.
So smile more. Be kind. Laugh more. Dream more.
This book was based on the true story of our daughter, Maddie. She thinks fake mustaches are hilarious, has a great sense of humor, and loves to act in plays. In February 2013, she was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland pressing up against her brain. She courageously faced a very difficult situation, went through one successful surgery, and then later had to face another. Her brothers (she really has four brothers, and two of them are identical twins), teachers (Mrs. Acord and Mrs. Lyon), and friends were extremely supportive.
People really did put on mustaches, took pictures, and sent them to her, or posted them on the Internet with the hashtag #mustachesformaddie. (It was Jenny Mason’s idea. Thanks, Jenny, and thanks to everyone who made our girl smile.) There were hundreds, if not thousands. A few local news stations even did a stories about it. All those mustaches definitely cheered Maddie up.
Maddie faced pressures and problems in school, though Cassie and the difficult situations that happened at the elementary school in this book were entirely made up. Though Yasmin, Lexi, Devin, and others were fictional characters, Maddie had many real friends who helped her. And Maddie did make up games to get more kids involved in her school.
Chad, the father in the story, really was in a hospital room with his girl when his debut novel, Cragbridge Hall, The Inventor’s Secret hit the shelves. He canceled part of his promotional tour and doesn’t regret it at all.
Near the end of 2014, Maddie had a second surgery, and her doctors were able to not only remove a cyst that had grown on the remaining tumor tissue, but miraculously they also removed the rest of her tumor. As of 2017, no signs of the tumor have returned, though Maddie still has an MRI regularly to check. She was an amazing girl before the surgery and has grown to become even stronger, braver, and more caring through her experience.