Langley's Maddie Petersen has been making and selling candles to shed light on a rare condition she has that causes seizures. The money she raises goes to B.C. Children's Hospital.

Little lights of hope

Maddie Petersen will be selling her candles outside the PriceSmart on Friday, Nov. 22 to raise funds for B.C. Children's Hospital.

Maddie Petersen was just eight-years-old when her first seizure struck.

The Grade 4 student from Langley was having a sleepover with her grandmother  –  the two were sound asleep when the night suddenly took an unexpected and terrifying turn.

“I could hear my mom screaming hysterically upstairs and calling my name,” said Petersen’s aunt Leanne Kinsman, who lives on the main floor of the Brookswood home.

After dashing upstairs, she recognized what was happening with her niece – she had seen it before.

“Maddie was convulsing and crying so I called 9-1-1… I grew up with friends who have epilepsy, so I could just tell she was having a seizure.”

On route to Langley Memorial Hospital, Petersen suffered another attack in the ambulance– this time she became drowsy and lost feeling in the left side of her body.

The numbness eventually went away, but Petersen was sent to BC Children’s Hospital for an MRI.

Her test results showed that Peteresen has a rare condition called AVM (arteriovenous malformation), which is  an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins.

Most aren’t aware they have the condition until they experiences symptoms such as a headache, or in Petersen’s case, a seizure.

Fortunately for Petersen and her family, a brain AVM can often be treated successfully. However, that means having to take medication to help have less seizures, an MRI every two years and a trip to the BC Children’s Hospital every six months to meet with a neurologist.

While the seizures still happen on occasion and could worsen when puberty strikes, Petersen  – who is without a doubt one brave little girl  –takes each one in stride.

“I know when they are going to happen and I know I will be okay,” she said. “I just hope one day they will be gone forever.”

In an effort to bring a little light to her condition – quite literally, and to raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital, Petersen, along with the help of her aunt, have launched a fundraiser called Maddie’s Masons.

“I want to help other kids like me so they know they aren’t the only ones who have seizures –it really means a lot to me,” said Petersen.

The candles, which are all-natural soya based and non-toxic, come in a variety of scents, including French lavender, gingersnap, cupcake and mango. Each one is handmade by Petersen with a little help of her aunt – so far, all supplies have been donated.

“She’s really dedicated to this,” said Kinsman matter-of-factly.

“She puts the wick in the jars and ads the scents and cuts out all the little labels.”

In just one month, the philanthropic pair have sold 60 candles at four-dollars apiece. Every cent of the sale goes straight to the BC Children’s Hospital.

“The word is just spreading so quickly,” noted Kinsman.

“Were really excited about this!”

Petersen’s parents, Suzann and Blaine, couldn’t be prouder of their daughter who has already raised $240. Making the fundraiser a true family affair, they have been helping her sell and drop off candles.

Maddie will be in front of the PriceSmart Foods in Langley City on Friday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. selling her candles.

Anyone interested in donating supplies or purchasing a candle are asked to send an email to maddiesmasons@live.com or check out Maddie’s Masons’ Facebook fan page.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse, off duty cop testifies in Langley murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Trinity Western University’s men’s hockey team will host the three-team Captains Cup, featuring the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the Spartans, starting November 12th (Courtesy TWU)
Captains Cup hockey series comes to Langley

Trinity Western University to host UBC and SFU at George Preston arena

LOSC members worked out at the Aldergrove outdoor pool on Saturday, Oct. 24 (LOSC/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Swim club ‘broken-hearted’ by Langley Township pool decision

Staff report said it will cost less to reopen WC Blair instead of Walnut Grove

Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working vacuumed a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Nest of ‘murder hornets’ found near South Surrey

String of traps set up along border to capture Asian giant hornets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and staff by parents must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read