This is Maggie Schmidt.
She was our daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, and friend. She passed away June 1, 2017, shortly after her 17th birthday. Maggie suddenly developed MRT - Malignant Rhabdoid Tumors, a rare and aggressive cancer that originated in her abdomen and quickly metastasized throughout her body.
Maggie was a happy, healthy, beautiful and diverse teenager. She loved music, animals, athletics, and basically everything life had to offer. She read music, played violin, piano, guitar, rode horses, surfed, practiced yoga, cheer, snowboarded, and did really cool theatrical make-up. Maggie would make her fingers look as if they were really severed. Eww!
She was confident and didn't need or seek approval from others. We were proud of Maggie and joked that she'd make a great CEO or director someday, as she was most definitely the boss. Maggie would spend hours with her dad play acting characters like “Jen” and “Jake”. Jen would ride up the driveway on her tricycle and say “Hey Jake”. She was very serious. If she didn’t like the way Jake (dad), read his lines, he had to do his part over and over again until he got it right! Dad could not leave the game until Maggie was satisfied.
Maggie wrote a bucket list in early 2016. What teenager makes a bucket list? Weird! Some of her list included seeing the Northern Lights, traveling cross country, hiking the Grand Canyon again, and to go “legitimate” rock climbing. Sadly, she never got to complete her bucket list, but she did hike the Grand Canyon in 2014. On the way back up from the canyon, the weather turned. Rain turned to hail and unprepared hikers were chilled to the bone. Maggie immediately began sharing extra clothing and gear to help those people out. She was so full of life and had an incredible spirit that drew people to her. Maggie filled our house with music and friends and made it a home on Boulevard Avenue.
Maggie was like an exquisite flower just blossoming. While cancer and the treatment changed Maggie Schmidt physically, it strengthened her spiritually. She said she wanted to help find a cure so other children would not suffer like she did.
We are so sad she isn't here with us anymore; that she won't get to do all the things on her bucket list or live the life she deserved. but perhaps Maggie was destined for greater things. Her spirit is now the force behind Maggie’s Mission.
During her illness (which you can read more about here or on the link below), Maggie was stoic, brave and unbelievably strong. She suffered greatly and witnessed the suffering of many others during treatment.
It was shocking to see how many children were and still are being diagnosed with the awful disease that is cancer. Before she died, Maggie asked us to help other children. This is how Maggie's Mission was born.