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Madi Spangler has developed plans to start a Make-A-Wish organization at West Forsyth

By Betsy Ramsbotham
For the Clemmons Courier

Madi Spangler, a junior at West Forsyth High School, is a champion for critically ill children. She understands them because she herself was one.

She was born with hypoplastic heart syndrome and has undergone four surgeries, so she knows firsthand about the physical and emotional pain that sick children experience.

She also knows about the life-changing joy that the Make-A-Wish Foundation gives a sick child because she was a Wish kid at age three. A local school raised money through Make-A-Wish to send Spangler and her family to Disneyland.

Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps fulfill the wishes of children between the ages of two and a half through 18. According to their website, “With the help of generous donors and more than 45,000 volunteers worldwide, more than 500,000 wishes have been granted since 1981.”

Spangler wants to give back to them and help in any ways she can.

“Madi has done an amazing job raising awareness for the foundation,” said Theresa Bryant, Key Club adviser and English teacher at West Forsyth.

Spangler has developed plans to start a Make-A-Wish organization at West Forsyth. COVID shutdowns and protocols delayed some of the plans, but she has been able to select an executive board and identify students who will perform well in leadership roles. The Student Government Association has also helped greatly in the development.

Anne Rudert, West Forsyth registrar, will serve as the adviser.

“My parents, Shera and Lance, have been instrumental in helping me establish a Make-A-Wish group at West. I have bounced so many ideas off of them,” said Spangler.

She is grateful to her parents for helping her raise money through the years for Make-A-Wish and for donating their money and time to the organization. “My parents have always been with me every step of the way,” she said.

Spangler also gives credit to Dana Strehl, a donor relations specialist with Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina, for lending her knowledge and expertise to Spangler’s causes and fundraisers.

Her current Wish Warriors fundraiser is virtual. She has nearly raised her goal of $1,000.

She invites anyone who wants to donate to Wish Warriors to visit wish.org from April 29-May 2.

“A wish gives children renewed energy and strength, brings families closer together and unites communities,” said Spangler.