Friday, May 25, 2012


Madeleine’s Blog 

May 25, 2012

Tonight was a night to celebrate!!! Madeleine graduated from Montgomery High School and did an awesome job presenting her speech to the crowd. We are so proud of her, and we all enjoyed celebrating with her and her classmates.

Click here to see the video of Madeleine's speech

Here is the text of Madeleine's graduation speech:

Well, we’ve finally made it!

Our four years here at Montgomery High School are finally coming to an end. We have so many great memories, and we also have so much to look forward to!

All of us – in one way or another – have had to face and overcome challenges along the way to making it here tonight. Some of those challenges have been found as we’ve struggled through our homework; or as we’ve faced our opponents while playing on Montgomery’s sports teams; or even as we’ve encountered difficulties in our own personal lives.

As many of you know, I have had to face an unexpected challenge myself this year, having been diagnosed with cancer and then going through surgery, radiation, and now chemotherapy during my senior year. I can tell you - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that I am grateful to be here tonight!

Together, we’re able to look back at some great memories of challenges and victories from these past four years:
  • Of countless Viking basketball games where our team has pulled through at the last minute
  • Of essays and projects that have kept us up past midnight – but finally got done!
  • Of the hours & hours that our Drama and Choir groups have spent in rehearsals – and, of the great performances that came as the result of their efforts!
  • Of our Viking boys’ soccer team that has won two NCS titles!
  • Of our International Baccalaureate, or “I.B.” students, who have put themselves through never-ending extra hours of homework – but have made it to this night!
  • Of the new friendships, the old friendships, and the thousands of memories that have been shared through these past four years.
These years have also taught us so many valuable lessons:
  • We’ve learned that procrastination never really does end up working
  • that Facebook really can make your grades drop!
  • That even though we sometimes don’t seem to be listening (because we’re checking our cellphones!) that we really are hearing from you —our parents, our coaches, and our teachers
  • We’ve also learned that friendships grow and change, and that friends do come and go
  • But above all, that we Vikings really are a family. You guys have taught me what it means to be a family. Through every step of my battle there has been nothing but positive encouragement and support, and I am so grateful for all of you.
The memories that we’ve formed together, and the lessons that we’ve learned, will stay with us through our lifetimes. Those experiences form the foundation for what is to come as we go out from here.

Some of us will go on to college; others will go right into the work force. Some of us will stay right here in Santa Rosa; others will move to different locations or even abroad.

We don’t know fully what the road ahead will bring us. And we won’t really know what we have inside… until we hit challenges or roadblocks in our lives. Then, all the things that have been poured into us - through our families, our teachers, our friends, and our coaches – will finally have an opportunity to be drawn out of us. The things that we’ve learned in these four years are the kinds of lessons that can’t always be seen when looking at a grade-point average, an SAT score, or even a diploma.

Tonight, is the biggest, most-anticipated night of our high school lives.  After tonight, we begin a new chapter – a chapter in which we will face many adventures, and many challenges.

We are the Montgomery High School class of 2012 – and with the help of each other, our families, and with the foundation that has been built here – we will meet those challenges, and we will overcome them.


Graduation pictures: 

Speech - from a different angle

Cousins! Katherine & Madeleine
With David

With friends
Swim coach Mark Stanley
Walking in
After graduation: Deanne, Madeleine, Max, David

Below from the Press Democrat (online photo): 
Madeleine and Austin "captured on the ubiquitous iPhone during the Montgomery High School commencement ceremony held Friday on the school's football field. May 25, 2012" (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)


Auntie Leslie said...

So very proud of you! You did an amazing job with your
speech. You looked beautiful, spoke with grace and
showed us all your inner strength!!!!

We love you and think of you all the time!

Uncle David, Auntie Leslie, Lindsey and Emily

kircarp said...

Congratulations Madeleine on so many levels! You have completed High School, but more than that you have met your own challenges with grace and faith. I pray for you daily and love you & your family to pieces.
~ Kirsten, for the Carps

Dave Cindy said...

Your speak is amazing! Dave and I are so proud of you! You brought tears to my eye.

We Love you Congratulations!!XO

Cindy said...

"Speech" :) LOL

Lawrence Makin said...

Hi Madeleine,

You don't know me at all - I just stumbled upon your blog on the internet.

Congrats on graduating - you must be so pleased! I wish you all the best for your pending career or further studies.

I also wanted you to know that I found your blog very inspiring. I'm facing a difficult time at the moment, having lost my mother to cancer last year, and personally having been diagnosed with melanoma last Saturday.

I'm awaiting blood tests to see if I'm in the clear after the initial surgery and am naturally scared, but you've inspired me by showing how much you've fought and are prepared to fight.

I gathered you're a God-fearing person, so if I may, here's a passage my uncle read me from a book written about the Bible (I won't explain what book and the religion etc. as it's not my place, but it is Christian):

"Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil."

What that means is that if you reflect upon who you are as a person, provided you are good, you will overcome all your hardships.

Now, only you can honestly know if you're a good person, but I have an inkling you are. God doesn't punish those who are good, so this whole illness is just evil trying to take a foothold. I know you're not going to let it.

I wish you all the best - keep fighting :-)