A decade of compassion goes a long way. Madisen’s Match is celebrating 10 years of giving that has benefited cancer treatment charities in Southwest Florida and across the country. The annual tennis event and gala has raised more than $650,000 to help children and adults stricken with the same sort of challenges that its namesake has faced since she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 3.
“It truly is hard to believe that we are at this point, 10 years later,” said Duane Chaney, Madisen’s uncle and the founder of the event. “It has been great to see the community support this vision, with
out the backing of our community, Madisen’s Match would not have evolved into the event that it is today.”
“It’s impossible to know just how many people Madisen’s Match has helped,” Chaney also said. Those who’ve given can see the impact of their generosity in the long list of medical equipment and other items the money has gone toward:
- A VGo robot, which enables children with extended illnesses to attend school without leaving home or the hospital
- Six chemotherapy chairs, which make the wrenching experience as comfortable as possible
- Two Phillips transport monitors to help medical professionals keep tabs on patients
- Two Vecta distraction stations designed to help make hospital treatment less upsetting for children
- A GestureTek game cube, which is a virtual reality gaming system to help keep children’s minds off their treatments
The charitable giving also f
inanced the $75,000 needed to dedicate the Madisen’s Match Activity Room at the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
“This playroom with Madisen’s name on it will ensure that the legacy of Madisen and Madisen’s Match will live on and inspire children who visit that playroom for generations to come,” Chaney said.
Today, Madisen is 13, and her tumor is stable and shows no signs of growth. Aside from a once-a-year sedation and MRI, she lives life just like any other girl her age, excelling in school and enjoying time with her friends. In March, she and her parents will travel from their home in Maryland to visit Southwest Florida and serve as guests of honor for this year’s Madisen’s Match.
“It has been great to see Madisen understand the “why” of what we do,” Chaney said. “A few years ago, she finally was able to understand how the event helps others like her, and how she can be an inspiration for kids who are faced with similar situations.”
Tennis stars such as world No. 13 Sam Querrey, 16-time Grand Slam winners Bob and Mike Bryan, and former U.S. No.
1 men’s player Mardy Fish headline the two-day event this year. It all begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 18 with the 10th Anniversary Gala Celebration and Auction at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. The same beautiful venue will also be home to the Madisen Match’s Legends Tennis Camp at 8:45 a.m. Monday, March 19, followed by the Tennis Pro-Am at 1 p.m. The grand finale of the two-day fundraiser starts at 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 when the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic becomes Southwest Florida’s first indoor tennis event, which will be held at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.
Tickets, sponsorship opportunities and ways to give can be found at www.madisensmatch.com