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Madison passes
Madison Elaine Megee, the Ceres cancer patient whose battle was recently chronicled in the Courier, died surrounded by her family on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

She was 7 years old.

"She was at home and in our arms," said her mother, Keri (Van Vooren) Magee. "Her passing was peaceful and she was surrounded by her family and all our love."

On June 17, 2008 the Hidahl Elementary School student was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was pulled from classes so the family could stay in the Bay Area while doctors conducted a treatment of surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy at University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF). Madison's form of cancer was so rare that her doctors were challenged by treatment options. The highest form of chemotherapy couldn't arrest the disease.

"They just said it was too aggressive and nothing was operable," said Keri.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation sent Madison and her family on a trip to Disneyland last week, which aunt Chelsea Wilson called a "bitter-sweet" occasion.

Madison made a special appearance at the Ceres Relay for Life event held in May. At the event Madison was honored with a "Survivor of the Year" award while her mother was honored as "Caregiver of the Year."

In the Sept. 16 edition of the Courier Keri Magee appealed for parents to keep childhood cancers at the forefront of their concerns. She wrote, in part, that she felt obligated "to make sure that our children are noticed so they do not die without making an imprint on this world, and without people knowing that children get cancer. Approximately 46 children are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. everyday. There are effective treatments for some, but there are over 200 childhood cancers, and each needs a different form of treatment. I will always advocate for more research to be done into childhood cancer causes and treatments. That is something that people can do. But there are many things that anyone can do to make a difference. I do not think most people know that a gold ribbon represents childhood cancer. I did not know this until my child was diagnosed."

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the main dining facility at California State University Stanislaus in Turlock for Madison Elaine Magee, 7, of Ceres.

She leaves behind her parents, Shawn and Keri Magee of Ceres; her sister, Shannon Magee of Ceres; her grandparents, Gregory and Jeri Van Vooren of Hughson; her aunts and uncles, Chelsea (Mike) Wilson, of Turlock, Kyle Van Vooren, of Modesto, and Brent (Julie) Van Vooren, of Turlock; and her great-grandparents, Yvonne Alvari, and Bob and Myra Chapman. Madison was preceded in death by grandmother Elaine Marie Gleason of Washington.

Remembrances may be sent to Family House, 50 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA 94122 (, 415-476-1665); or to CureSearch at CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation Development Office at 4600 East West Highway, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814 (, 800-458-6223).

Friends and family are invited to share memories and condolences at