This year, the event ambassador is Madison Williams, a talented young singer/songwriter. Last year, the Polo in the Pines honoree was 5-year-old, Caroline Brewer. Madison and Caroline met in 2017 and formed an instant bond. Madison was the first girl Caroline met with a bald spot, and they both still have
them. They are friends for life.
While they have seen each other regularly at events since they met, their bond continues to grow. Those who know young Caroline understand that she doesn’t hold still for long. She will willingly climb up into your lap or let you hold her in your arms, but she wiggles away before long. When Madison holds her, she remains remarkably calm.
Madison and Caroline both have Grade III Anaplastic Ependymoma, a rare type of brain cancer, with only 50 cases reported each year.
Madison believes that there is a purpose to everything — every journey, every joy, and every hardship. Madison also started a charity called Purpose, founded to improve pediatric cancer patient’s lives. She is a talented songwriter and singer and has released her own album. Her hope is to record and produce one of her new songs, debut it at Polo in the Pines and raise additional funds for pediatric brain cancer research through her music. Join us in celebrating this remarkable young woman!
The day before her surgery, 3-year-old Caroline Brewer was cheerfully running down the halls of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her parents, Jamie and Matthew, delighted in seeing her so happy, but watching Caroline laugh and play was heart-wrenching.
Caroline had brain cancer and a softball-sized tumor nestled at the base of her brain. The official diagnosis was anaplastic ependymoma. Her neurosurgeon was hopeful but said that if she survived surgery, she would likely be paralyzed on her left side, and the ophthalmologist predicted she would be blind.
During her eight-hour surgery, Jamie and Matthew prepared for the worst. But, when the surgery was over, and to their amazement, Caroline was sitting upright in bed and smiling. She was not blind or paralyzed. The neurosurgeon was able to remove the large tumor from her brain. And, she walked out of the hospital seven days later.
She underwent two months of radiation, lost her hair and required physical therapy briefly, but Caroline was a champ. During her six-month MRI in November 2017, another brain tumor was found. The Children’s neurosurgeon and his team were once again able to remove the tumor.
Caroline received fantastic news on December 4, 2018, indicating her brain and spine are clear and stable! Caroline is currently in a clinical trial that Polo in the Pines Friends helped to fund and looks forward to a cancer-free future.