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Fort Wayne girl named Children's Miracle Network 2020 Indiana Champion

Maddie Dean's optimism and will to keep fighting caught the eyes of both the Riley Children’s Foundation and Mayor Henry.

Posted: Feb 27, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 10:04 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and The Riley Children’s Foundation honored Fort Wayne’s own Maddie Dean today.

Only 11-years-old, Maddie has battled juvenile dermatomyositis since she was three.

“She has had to fight for her life for the last 8 years,” said Angela Dean, Maddie’s mother.
“She has had to deal with a lot of adult situations. I think that's formed who she is as a person today.”

Juvenile dermatomyositis is a rare incurable disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells.

“For us, it has really been a long journey,” said Matt Dean, Maddie’s father. “To have it come full circle is really why it is so special because at first, we were just trying to survive.”

Maddie’s doctors have been inspired by her optimism throughout the treatment process.

“Maddies doesn’t see herself as someone who needs help,” said Susan Ballinger, Maddie’s pediatric rheumatologist at Riley Hospital. “She sees herself as someone who can use her disease to help others.”

Maddie’s condition makes spending time outdoors difficult. She has turned to art and music not only to express herself but to give back to other children in similar situations.

“I found a way that I could express myself and also be able to help Riley,” Maddie said.

Maddie began selling her artwork on her Facebook page “Masterpieces by Maddie.”

Maddie’s optimism and will to keep fighting caught the eyes of both the Riley Children’s Foundation and Mayor Henry.

She was selected to be an ambassador for Riley and was selected at the Children’s Miracle Network Indiana Champion for 2020.

Mayor Henry also proclaimed February 27, 2020, to be “Maddie Dean Day.”

“She represents the entire state of Indiana for the year of 2020,” said Elizabeth Elkas, Riley Children’s Foundation President. “I couldn’t think of a better person this year than Maddie Dean.”

Maddie said she couldn’t describe the feeling that the honor brought her. She hopes to continue to serve as an inspiration for other children at Riley.

“It can always get better, and you can’t give up hope,” Maddie said. “Keep taking it one day at a time, and try to find the joy in everything.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
Bartholomew52238
Howard43734
LaPorte43624
Tippecanoe4214
Shelby39822
Jackson3942
Delaware38740
Hancock34928
Floyd32140
Boone31835
Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
Montgomery24417
Clinton2401
White2389
Decatur23031
Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1758
Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
Franklin1158
Ripley1086
LaGrange1022
Daviess9516
Carroll933
Steuben872
Wayne865
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
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Jay530
Clay522
Washington511
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Randolph503
Fulton501
Pulaski490
Jefferson471
Whitley443
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Starke393
Sullivan371
Owen341
Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36792

Reported Deaths: 2300
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6112290
Cuyahoga4669247
Hamilton2739164
Marion267931
Lucas2296256
Pickaway209537
Summit1487181
Mahoning1463188
Butler93333
Columbiana88952
Stark75299
Lorain70960
Montgomery69516
Trumbull58451
Belmont43914
Warren39021
Medina36623
Miami36230
Tuscarawas3604
Ashtabula34537
Delaware34414
Portage33257
Lake31812
Fairfield3108
Clark3067
Wood30348
Geauga29533
Wayne28851
Licking26510
Mercer2207
Clermont2165
Allen21433
Richland2093
Darke18423
Erie18216
Madison1627
Washington11819
Crawford1174
Morrow1071
Ottawa10217
Greene1025
Putnam9514
Sandusky8512
Monroe7914
Auglaize763
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Hardin640
Huron601
Williams561
Union551
Muskingum521
Hancock511
Shelby463
Holmes463
Clinton451
Fulton450
Wyandot442
Coshocton400
Logan400
Fayette400
Preble391
Guernsey362
Defiance342
Carroll313
Brown301
Lawrence300
Champaign281
Highland261
Knox251
Seneca242
Vinton212
Ashland210
Perry191
Athens181
Henry170
Scioto170
Paulding140
Jackson140
Adams101
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Noble60
Meigs60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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