"You know she's doing really well, we have had no medical issues for quite some time," say the now-Texas
Rangers hitting coach.
At almost 8 years old, Madison has become the poster child for Prader-Willi Syndrome, the most common know genetic cause of life-threatening obesity in children.
"She's been the model for a lot of things as far as figuring some things out," says Clint. "Maddie is figuring things out in her own way, she's writing her own book one day at a time. We've got such great help with our doctors at Children's Hospital, the pediatricians, everyone involved in her up keep and care. We've been blessed."
Maddie still requires extra attention in some areas like the classroom, but on most levels, she is a typical 2nd grader with an energetic little brother who likes to test out his sister's physical therapy sessions.
"Right now the biggest issue we've had to deal with happened just a couple days ago," smiles Clint, "and this is a good thing. Maddie got on a treadmill and her brother (Christian) encouraged her to go faster, faster, faster. Well it got a little fast for Maddie but bless her little heart, she was able to hang on and you can just see those burns on her knees. But look how strong she's gotten in 7 years!"
The burns were pretty fresh looking but Maddie didn't seem bothered by them at all while she and her brother ran around the 7th annual Prader-Willi Golf Tournament in Highlands Ranch. She's a strong one, and very much a girly-girl growing up quickly.
"Now the new thing is, we are experiencing make-up," Clint explains. "We have lipstick on today and we put on a little eyeshadow and she showed Dad how she did it this morning."
While Maddie continues to blossom, there are many unanswered questions that lie in her future.
"Will she go to the Prom? I don't know," Clint ponders. "Will she get married? I don't know. Kids? I don't know. There are a lot of unknowns in front of us because there's a lot of uncharted territory."
Which is why the Hurdles continue to live one day at a time. Enjoying the dynamic between their children and all that comes with watching them grow up. Maybe someday to be just like Dad.
"Right now they're both playing T-Ball and Maddie talks about it more than Christian," Clint bellows with a laugh. "How do you like that? Maddie's geared up and Christian was like 'yeah it was OK'"
The Prader Willi Syndrome Association is working towards building a group home in Colorado to support young adults with the disorder so they may live independent, but with supervision. To find out more about Prader-Willi and their missions, visit www.pwsausa.org.com
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)