Clint Hurdle's daughter keeps swinging away

7:46 PM, Feb 9, 2007   |    comments
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Born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, Madison is used to her busy schedule. When she was younger it was filled with physical and speech therapy. These days she’s kept active with occupational and hippo therapy, swimming and afternoon preschool. All those activities keep Rockies manager Clint Hurdle and his wife Karla constantly on the go.

“Pretty much every day of the week we have something going on before she heads home for lunch. She takes a quick 20 minute nap and then it's off to school, so she keeps us busy,”

Prader-Willi slowed Madison’s development down in few areas, especially large and small motor skills. She didn’t crawl or walk until well after her 1st birthday and her fine motor skills have taken a while to come along as well. However progress is being made every day. While we were visiting the Hurdles, Madison took the backing off a sticker as Clint exclaimed to her, “Oh my goodness look at that. You did it all by yourself.” Then to us he said, “A year ago there wasn’t even a chance that would happen"

It is obvious Madison’s a fighter and for some reason she keeps getting thrown in the ring. In 2005, she landed in Children’s Hospital with genetic epileptic seizures and last month, she was back, this time with Kawasaki’s Disease.

“We told everyone at Children's we just hadn't been there in a while and we wanted to make sure they were still living up to their standard of excellence they'd had over so many years. And they are,” says Clint.

The Hurdles take Madison’s health seriously, but they are also a family that puts everything into perspective. Considering the odds of their daughter being afflicted with three different disorders/illnesses, they’ve come up with their own answer.

“Clint and I don't want to bring a lot of light to the subject but through a little bit of humor it kind of keeps our sanity. We (like to) say Maddies' taken another one for the team. You know the kids team,” says Karla. “I guess that she's the one that can handle it. She's been a real fighter and she puts her head down and goes through and comes out on the other side. Maybe He knows she can run with things better than anybody else.”

“One in 10,000 children incurs Kawasaki disease. So we figured she spared 9,999 other kids from having to deal with this. (With) Prader Willi, she cut 12,999 loose and genetic epilepsy doesn't happen every day and she got in that game,” says Clint.

Whatever game she’s in, Madison is a proven winner. Now if she could just figure out how to play her cards right with younger brother Christian who Karla likens to the Tasmanian Devil.

“Unfortunately he has a couple characteristics of his father: fearless and clueless. It's a powerful combination,” says Clint.

“He challenges Maddie and he'll challenge her even more in the future. He's up and running, reading and counting and she's letting him know she can do everything he can. That's just going to help her down the road,” says Karla.

Madison will turn 5 this fall and start Kindergarten at her home elementary school. The Hurdles are excited, but also anxious about their daughter’s next journey.

“Is she at the level of other 5 years old are? No. Is she kind of holding her own? I think she's doing fine. She's taking small steps forward and that's all you could ever hope for in this situation,” says Karla.

“If she gets in the program and she's not able to keep up, we'll deal with that when we have to deal with it. But we're going to give her every opportunity to make her own way on her own timetable,” says Clint.

“She's tough, real tough. She's making her parents tougher.”

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