Joshua McFadden was a healthy, active 11-year-old boy until February 2, 2016. After several weeks of persistent headaches, vomiting, and blurred vision, Joshua was diagnosed with DIPG.
The fun-loving fifth grader was passionate about the Green Bay Packers, video games, and those around him. Soon after being diagnosed, the family took a Make-A-Wish trip to Silicon Valley in order to take a tour of Google. One of his favorite memories was meeting Jordy Nelson, a player for the Packers.
Joshua was treated by pediatric oncologists Dr. Stewart Goldman and Dr. Alica Lenzen of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He underwent 6 weeks of radiation in hopes of stopping the tumor growth, then participated in a medical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Joshua fought for 11 months before losing his battle on January 15, 2017, leaving behind two sisters, a stepsister, his parents, and his step-parents.
While he is missed terribly, Joshua has continued to impact and change those who met him as well as strangers who hear his story. Just before passing, he asked what he had achieved in life and what his purpose was on earth — questions no 12-year-old should ever have to consider. Joshua requested to have his brain and brainstem donated for research so that someday no other children have to go through all the pain that he went through.