12-year-old becomes second Monroe student to die from same bone cancer

Alondra Johnson, whose son died from cancer earlier this year, said a 12-year-old Monroe girl who battled the same disease continued to text her son’s phone even after his death.

Madison Smallwood, who would be a seventh-grader in Monroe Elementary School, asked Dominic Watkins, a 2018 Monroe High School graduate who died this year, about heaven and said she was looking forward to seeing her “big brother” again.

On Tuesday morning, Madison, whose fight inspired a community, lost her battle against cancer, according to a Facebook post by her family.

“Rest in Heaven our precious Madison. You will forever be in our hearts. So many people were truly inspired by you and your fight to live!” the post said.

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Madison had long wished to experience a high school graduation and prom. The entire Monroe community rallied to make her dreams come true.

In 2015, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, the same disease that claimed the life of Watkins.

Watkins’ mother said she was hoping and praying “for a miracle” for Madison.

“I’m tired of cancer getting the best of our kids,” she said. “I’m just devastated.”

Madison and Watkins met four years ago when they were patients in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, his mother said. They became “good friends” as both battled the same disease.

Madison and Watkins were embraced by the Monroe community and the surrounding areas though fundraisers.

On Tuesday night, after news of Madison’s passing was shared on social media, the Monroe City Council held a moment of silence before its meeting.

Last year, Madison served as honorary mayor of the city. She was appointed honorary mayor by Mayor Robert Routson during a City Council meeting.

In his proclamation, Routson said mayors must be good leaders in the communities they serve, know it’s difficult to bring an entire community together and agree on any subject, and “must have the ability to inspire, motivate and have compassion for others during the ups and downs life brings to us all.”

A few weeks later, Madison served as grand marshal of Monroe’s Fourth of July parade.

The Monroe district provided counselors Wednesday night and Thursday, according to its Web page.

The district will convene a support team available to meet with students, parents and school personnel from 9-11 a.m. today in the high school Media Center.

“We will always remember Madison for her smile and courage,” the district posted on its website. “Her positive impact on our district and community will never be forgotten.”

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