LA PLATA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Eight-year-old Maddie Major has been fighting for her life. We met her in October not long after she went to Capitol Hill to plead for more research funding for childhood cancer, and then Congress shutdown the government.
"Two weeks later, they shutdown NIH instead. Kind of the ultimate slap in the face there," said Maddie's mother, Robyn Major.
After reaching the brink of despair, Maddie is back home in La Plata, Md. with her family and little white dog Bella, who "ran around in circles and almost knocked me down," said Maddie.
Maddie is finally in remission from B-Cell ALL leukemia. She's one of 26 children who are part of a T-Cell therapy, a clinical trial that forces the body's own system to fight off the cancer cells.
"The T-cells go in, they rapidly, rapidly expand in their bodies, killing of the Leukemia but also causing lots of inflammation," explained Robyn Major.
Because the shutdown delay caused the leukemia to ravage her body, it was all more difficult.
She needed a bone marrow transplant and then developed a blood infection. She almost didn't make it.
After spending four weeks in ICU, Maddie had to learn to walk again.
"I would have to get up on my hands and knees and lift my head up," said Maddie.
Little by little she made progress, and yesterday, was declared to be in remission, clear of Leukemia. But her fighting nature and blunt talk has become a battle cry.
Her answer to the question, "How would you get adults who can't get along, to get along?" was: "Love. My only answer is love."
WUSA9 thought it was a great quote, and so did many others. A friend of the Majors designed a t-shirt with that quote, and added, "Maddie Grace! Warrior Princess." Indeed, Maddie is a fighter.
Robyn Major says it serves no purpose to be angry, "though there are many things she could be angry about." She just focuses on the fact Maddie is here, and getting better.
"Maddie has gone through so much. I would have called it quits long ago if it had been just me," said Robyn Major.
The National Institutes of Health spends just $ .04 of every dollar on childhood cancer.
Written by Peggy Fox