Madeline Wildes was born in January 2008. At 7 months old, she contracted meningitis and developed severe brain damage, leading up to her death on Aug. 20. Her parents, Landon and Amanda Wildes of Albany, consented to donate their daughter’s organs to give other parents and children hope.
“I knew Madeline was going to heaven and wouldn’t need her organs,” said Amanda Wildes, who said she also “wanted to prevent other parents from feeling the way I did.”
From that sacrificial gesture, Madeline’s Mission was created. The project, organized to celebrate and honor the life of Madeline and to recognize what she did through the donation of her organs, will kick off with a public campaign at 6:30 p.m. today at First Baptist Church on Oakland Parkway.
The goal of Madeline’s Mission is to donate bears to transplant patients at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and at Egleston’s summer camps. Bears will also be donated locally to pediatric patients at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus.
Wildes and co-organizer Kristin Pierce are inviting organizations, businesses and individuals to participate in the fundraising campaign to purchase the bears that will be donated. Participants are asked to attend the Wednesday kick-off to pick up bear-shaped paper die cuts they will be selling. They’ll receive sample Teddy bears, collection cans and fliers to help promote their fundraising efforts. T-shirts will be available to participants for purchase at the kick-off.
Pediatrician Stacy Evans will speak at the event, which is open to the public.
The fundraising campaign will end Feb. 14, after which the bears will be purchased and donated to the healthcare facilities. For information, call Pierce at 883-5304 or e-mail her at email@example.com.