Madalyn (Maddie) Gramke

First post: Feb 17, 2021 Latest post: Jan 19, 2024
Welcome to our Caring Bridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. 

In the Spring of 2021, Madalyn learned that she had stage two invasive carcinoma which had spread to the lymph nodes. Maddie bravely faced a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments she had returned to work, her CrossFit workouts, and was looking and feeling so good. The family was looking forward to traveling and family time in 2022.  

In early June 2022, Maddie started experiencing severe headaches and nausea. After additional testing, Zach and Maddie learned on June 13th that a tumor caused meningitis and she was diagnosed with Stage Four Metastatic Breast Cancer.  

Maddie had a talented team of doctors locally who teamed up with Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as consults with Mayo and a top neuro oncologist at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Maddie faced this journey with courage, setting a notable example for us all, including her two daughters.  As a natural leader she approached this selflessly, always saying, she is one of many people with cancer. She has been an example and model to anyone who is faced with this horrible monster. At the onset of her original diagnosis, Maddie took strategic steps to prepare herself and her family, setting up an informal care team of family and friends with specific strengths to support all aspects of her journey. Her choice to choose hope over fear, enabled her to stay physically and emotionally strong giving her more precious time and memories with her loved ones, surpassing all of the statistics and prognosis, securing a loan of time that helped prepare others to carry out her legacy. Our brave warrior fought courageously until the last medical treatment was exhausted and she learned the devastating news that she would not be a candidate for the clinical trial
as she hoped. That same day she decided it was time to rest and was moved to comfort care to be kept free from pain as she moved to the next chapter of her journey. The medical team, hospice, and the family were able to get Maddie home, her favorite place and with her favorite people. Her family spent these days by her side, holding her hand, telling her and showing her how much she was loved; playing their ukuleles for her until the moment she passed peacefully with them by her side. Maddie’s legacy and example lives on in the hearts and minds of all who love her. Maddie’s loved ones are forever connected to her and can call on her anytime they need her wisdom.

Maddie’s family is so touched by the kind outpouring of love and support from the early days of the diagnosis, the summer’s heavy turn of events, and as they live with this unimaginable loss. Now more than ever, Zach, and their daughters Emersyn (12)and Blair (9), need this community to lift them up in prayer, positive thoughts, love, and good vibes which has brought them comfort throughout this journey.