Woodbury boy named MDA's 2013 goodwill ambassador (W/VIDEO)Not so long ago, Bryce Madsen had his doubts.
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
Not so long ago, Bryce Madsen had his doubts.
He spotted a photo of a youth Muscular Dystrophy Association ambassador and said, “That’ll never be me,” his mother, Kelly Madsen recalled.
How wrong he was.
The 10-year-old Woodbury resident was treated to a major surprise today when he was named the 2013 Minnesota Statewide Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) of Minnesota.
MDA officials arrived Thursday morning at Bailey Elementary, where Bryce is in fifth grade, and presented him with the distinction during class. The presentation, which was unannounced, came as a shocker for Bryce.
“I just thought this was going to be a normal school day,” he said after receiving the news in Michelle Heller’s fifth-grade classroom while classmate cheered.
Kelly and her husband Dan Madsen were also on hand for the announcement. Kelly said the award should “boost (Bryce’s) spirits” as he deals with the disease, which keeps him bound to a wheelchair.
As MDA-Minnesota’s goodwill ambassador, Bryce will appear at events and fundraisers around the state, said Jack Pipkin, executive director of Twin Cities MDA.
“Bryce will be the face of the MDA for 2013 – Minnesota, at least,” Pipkin said.
Bryce was chosen from a 20-applicant field by a panel of MDA officials. Pipkin said Bryce’s enthusiasm and willingness to talk about his disease made him stand out this year.
Kelly said Bryce has spinal muscular atrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy.
“Bryce is getting to the age where he talks a lot about his disease,” Kelly said. “It’s just important to him to get the message out.”
Bryce got right into goodwill mode after the presentation was over. MDA officials tied balloons to his wheelchair and handed him a bag filled with candy.
“Who wants some candy,” Bryce asked, spinning his wheelchair toward his classmates, who pounced on the offer.