February 27, 2020 - Fort Wayne native, 11-year-old Maddie Dean, today was honored with a surprise proclamation from Mayor Tom Henry and Riley Children’s Foundation.

Maddie has been treated for juvenile dermatomyositis at Riley Hospital for Children since the age of 3. She has been selected as the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals Indiana Champion for 2020. Every year, 170 CMN Hospitals identify a “Champion.” These ambassadors spend their year advocating for the charitable need of children's hospitals. Riley Hospital for Children is the only CMN Hospitals partner in the state of Indiana.

Juvenile dermatomyositis is a rare incurable disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. Maddie’s disease makes playing outside difficult, so she has turned to art and music. She uses her artistic skills to raise money for Riley Children’s Foundation on her “Masterpieces by Maddie” page on Facebook and her piano playing always brings joy.

Maddie’s pediatric rheumatologist at Riley Hospital, Susan Ballinger, M.D., says that “Maddie doesn’t see herself as someone who needs help. She sees herself as someone who can use her disease to help others.”