Maddie Higgins faces a third brain surgery, but last week got a welcome distraction when snow was brought to her in sweltering Arlington.
Maddie Higgins, only 6 but battling brain cancer, plays in the snow outside her Texas home.
“Impossible, it’s summer!”
The words of 6-year-old Maddie Higgins rang true, but yet there was snow on the ground outside of her North Texas home Friday.
Maddie, who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, wished for a winter wonderland despite living in sweltering Arlington. The nonprofit group Kinsley’s Kure, dedicated to helping sick and terminally ill children, turned the girl’s dream into a reality.
Maddie Higgins with her mom, Melanie Higgins, playing in the snow.
Maddie was blindfolded and taken to the front yard. When the covering was removed, and with family and neighbors looking on, little Maddie could not believe what she was seeing: “Impossible, it’s summer!” she shouted.
Her first order of business: build a snowman dressed as a pirate, then engage in several snowball fights.
“She was ecstatic!” mom Melanie Higgins told the Daily News on Tuesday. “She could not believe that there was snow in her yard, especially during these blazing hot Texas summers. She was convinced that Kinsley’s Kure beckoned a snow fairy to visit her overnight, just to grant her very special wish.”
One of the first things 6-year-old Maddie Higgins did was build a snowman.
Higgins said her daughter was born on a rare day when Texas saw snow — leading the girl to believe she would feel the frosty flakes again.
“For the last year-and-a-half she has been asking to go someplace where she can play in real snow and build a snowman,” Higgins said. “We searched for a place to try to get to in the short amount of time we have had, and there just were not any places we could get her to.”
Jennifer Brown-Thomas, the founder of Fort Worth-based Kinsley’s Kure, said she first learned about Maddie through a friend. Her group decided they would help the family make some of the young girl’s wishes come true, including pampering her with a beauty and spa day, and giving her a head-to-toe makeover.
The nonprofit Kinsley’s Kure and Dallas-based Emergency Ice made sure the snow happen.
The summer snow day came courtesy of Emergency Ice, which blasted 20,000 pounds of ice through a machine onto the Higgins’ front lawn.
Setting the scene took about two-and-a-half hours, said Earl Toler, Emergency Ice president.
The family is going to decide whether Maddie will undergo a third surgery.
He said his sister’s son passed away from brain cancer, so being able to help another child battling the same terminal illness inspired him to help.
“You see a kid go through something like that, it really changes your perspective on things,” Toler said.
Maddie still has a tumor on the cerebellum in the back of the brain, according to a post on the Fight for Maddie Facebook page. With chemotherapy not working, the family will need to decide whether Maddie undergoes a third brain surgery.
“We still have not made a decision for ‘treatment’ because it feels like not doing the surgery is giving up, but to do it puts her in such harm’s way,” the family said Tuesday, adding that a clinical trial they are waiting on doesn’t appear promising.
Higgins said Maddie plans to see pop singer Kelly Clarkson in September, and dreams of one day visiting Japan. If snow can appear in Texas in July, then having Maddie experience another country doesn’t sound so impossible.
“We have to get creative there!” Higgins said.