Madeline is 11 years old and beginning sixth grade this fall. She is excited to start middle school. She enjoys dance (ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical), soccer, choir and playing the piano. Her favorite activity is hanging out with her friends. Her favorite subject in school is science, especially anything to do with weather. She recently got her first pet, a parakeet named Sky. Madeline has Stargardt disease, which reduces the clarity of her central vision.

Madeline’s mom writes: “When Madeline was diagnosed with Stargardt disease in early 2016, her dad and I were overwhelmed with worry. Since she began seeing Dr. Stone, Dr. Wilkinson, and the rest of the staff at the University of Iowa, that worry has largely been replaced with relief, comfort, and hope. Relief that she is receiving excellent care, comfort that we have been taught ways to help her and hope that research done at the University of Iowa and elsewhere, will eventually stop and reverse her retinal damage. We are extraordinarily grateful that Madeline’s vision care team has allowed us to recognize that our daughter’s disease is just one part of her full life.”