Maddie McClendon

Maddie McClendon, born and raised in Dadeville, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in October.

Dadeville is coming together to support one of its own.

Several locals and businesses are holding fundraisers to raise money for Dadeville native Maddie McClendon’s cancer treatment.

McClendon, 18, graduated from Lee Scott Academy in May before heading to Auburn University in the fall. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October.

The McClendon family is asking locals to keep Maddie McClendon in their thoughts and prayers as she starts aggressive chemotherapy treatment this week.

“Continued prayers are needed for our Maddie,” her mother Chris McClendon said. “Last week when the pathology report came back, we learned she has a very rare and aggressive cancer — small-cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT). We located a top expert in the country that has helped patients with this type of cancer and are now at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.”

McClendon left for Cincinnati, Ohio earlier this week. Since then, Dadeville has launched several fundraisers including one organized by friend of the family Megan Jones, who designed a blue bow for Maddie which reads “What do you say? Let’s paint the town blue for Maddie Mae.”

Jones has teamed up with Pearson’s Flowers & Gifts owner Donna McCain, where the bows can be purchased for $10 apiece. McCain paid for the materials out of pocket so all the sales revenue can go to McClendon.

Jones asks locals to hang the bows on their mailboxes to help spread the word, as treatment could last six to eight months.

“It’s going to be a lot of expenses on them,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to worry.”

Tallapoosa Nutrition also held a fundraiser for McClendon on Monday, donating 20% of the day’s sales. The tea and smoothie shop will continue to have a collection jar at the front counter, owner Micki Knox said.

Photographer Ashley Watts Heflin will also be doing photo sessions on Saturday with proceeds going towards the family. Customers can contact her via her Facebook page.

Before she was diagnosed, McClendon pledged Phi Beta Pi sorority and worked at Wire Nutrition in Auburn. McClendon was active in high school sports, participating in track, softball and cheerleading, where she was co-head of the varsity squad. She enjoys summer activities at Lake Martin and photography, Jones said.

“Maddie did mine and my husband’s engagement photos two years ago,” Jones said. “They were great, of course.”

The McClendon family thanks friends for their support.

“Our entire family is very touched by the outcry of help — through kind words, financial support and more importantly, prayers,” Chris McClendon said. “The need for ovarian cancer awareness for all women is truly a great need not only in the United States but throughout the world. Currently there (is) no routine screening for women and very often at the time of diagnosis, the cancer is at a III or IV stage. Our hope through this experience and journey with Maddie is to advocate for ovarian cancer awareness and research.”

Those interested in helping can learn more about the disease from the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation and the Small Cell Cancer Foundation, Chris McClendon said.

Jones wants the McClendon family to know Dadeville is behind them. 

“We are praying for her and our town is going to do everything we can to support them,” she said.