About Maddie Pearce

Inspirational Woman, Daughter, Sister, Cousin & Friend

Diagnosed with Lupus at age 12, Maddie endured multiple tests, medications, hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, and painful symptoms for 10 years. She did so with dignity and grace, always needing to watch the needles go in (while her mom looked away) and making the nurses laugh. Even in her final days, battling severe health complications at UW Medicine - Northwest Hospital, Maddie’s indomitable spirit made a lasting impact on her medical team.

Maddie had an incredible gift to connect with everyone she met, and all who knew her can rest assured that she truly loved knowing them. Never wanting to be defined by her illness, she radiated positive energy and incredible strength in the face of adversity, gifting everyone she met with her charm and her smile, and living by the quote, “She believed she could, so she did.”

In Maddie’s own words: Through every challenge I have faced, I have come out stronger, wiser and better. Having a chronic disease like lupus is hard every day, but having the love and support that I have makes it that much easier. Without lupus, I would not be lucky enough to see the world as I see it, to meet some of the strongest people I know and keep learning that people are always stronger than they believe. I have lupus, but lupus does not have me.

A 2010 graduate of Bellingham High School, Maddie lettered 4 years on the tennis team, and took 4th place in state singles her senior year, during a Lupus flare. With swollen joints and painful feet, she achieved her goal of making it to the competition, and beat some of the top players in the state of Washington. That same year, Maddie managed, directed and promoted an all-day tennis tournament benefitting the Lupus Foundation of America, and raising more than $4500. Passionate about tennis, Maddie got her first racquet at age 4. She was a Bellingham Tennis Club ‘rat’ after school, through her lesson, and often wanting to stay late. By 5th grade, she was invited by the boys’ high school tennis coach (who later became her coach) to come hit with her brother’s team. She would practice on the wall for hours, hitting with the boys and giving them a run for their money!

After high school, Maddie attended Evergreen State College and graduated with honors in 3 years. Some of her many accomplishments as a teen and young adult include working as a wonderful, loving nanny to beautiful Lilly; teaching summer tennis lessons at BTC; serving as a counselor at Camp Phoenix, a camp for severely burned children (whom she adored, and they her); assisting teachers at a school in Mexico during a 4-month stay her junior year in high school; writing for an online Lupus magazine; and creating her own greeting card company, Lenox&Lucy, featuring her unique artwork.

Maddie’s loves were many: typography and doodling, music and dancing (including kitchen dance parties), travel (especially to Mexico), cooking, laughter, and life itself. She really got it, and taught us all the best lessons about living with gratitude and spirit. As her friend Amy wrote, “There was always a light at the end of the tunnel to Maddie, but what she didn't know was that she was the light.”

She loved her family, and never left those words unsaid. Parents Mike and Whitney Pearce; Grandparents Doug and Bonnie Rohrer, CR Pearce, and Bill and Frances Pearce; Uncle Gilles, Aunt Tracy, and cousins Tehani and Teva; Uncle Tim, Aunt Emily, and cousins Alden and Dane; Aunt Kathy and cousin Ali; Aunt Cindy; as well as her special cousin Billy, family members across the states and as far away as Germany, and friends who quickly became family. Maddie had an extraordinarily deep bond with her brother, Devin, and they would often be the only two in a room, laughing uncontrollably at some random inside joke, or snorting out liquids at the dinner table.

When your world changed.
When your life changed.
Were you afraid, butterfly?
I wonder if I will fly too.
You sure look pretty today.
I hope I fly.
“Hey Butterfly” by JoAnn Abbott


I Bet Maddie Is

by Lena Shammel

I bet Maddie
Is playing tennis,
Is falling in love, and
Is laughing. And it never hurts.
I bet Maddie
Is keeping us safe,
Is making fun of us, and
Is grateful for you
I bet Maddie
Is being a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a best friend
(b.c. Maddie made everyone feel like a best friend)
I bet Maddie is here today with all of us.
I bet Maddie is