Young gymnast, 12, makes full recovery from Lyme disease

At 8 years old, the ride was almost over for Madison before it really began. In late 2018, she became sick.
Published: Apr. 2, 2023 at 10:29 PM CDT
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WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Madison Dobson is a natural sales person.

And she’s pretty good a baking.

The 12-year-old had her bakery and knick-knack kiosk strategically placed near the end of Coleman Avenue for the Waveland Easter parade.

It’s a good thing, because she has a big task to keep her gymnastics season going.

“I’m raising money to go to North Carolina for my regional competition,” Madison said.

She’s moving on because she aced it at the state level - winning the all around title.

“It’s kind of like my whole life,” Madison said. “I just think about it. I don’t know, eat, sleep gymnastics. That’s all I think about.”

But just four years ago, she and her family were at this same spot trying to raise money to treat a serious disease.

At 8 years old, the ride was almost over for Madison before it really began. In late 2018, she became sick.

She started to lose her ability to walk. She first needed crutches, but that didn’t slow her down.

But in January 2019, she was paralyzed on one side and needed a wheelchair.

The hope of continuing gymnastics began to fade.

“I felt like I was never going to be able to do it again,” Madison said. “It was really hard for me.”

She was first diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The cause wasn’t discovered until after numerous consultations with specialists throughout the south.

Her mother, Mindy Dobson, eventually consulted a naturopathic physician who diagnosed Lyme disease.

“You know, not every doctor knows everything,” Dobson said. “And sometimes you just have to continue to search for the answers.”

Madison has now fully recovered.

“She just made a marvelous recovery that we just never dreamed that she would,” Dobson added.

She’s also ready to earn more trophies.

“I’m feeling good. I’m excited,” she said. “I can’t wait to get out there and just perform and have fun. I feel good. ... I’ve definitely learned I have to take it easier. Like, focus and just remember that all the stuff is behind me and I don’t have to worry about it any more.”

The Dobsons are planning another Easter fundraising event this week. For more information, call: 228-216-4205.

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