Well-Being Longevity

Texas teen raises $30K to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Povozniuk/ iStock

Story at a glance

  • Maddie Barber is a 17-year-old from Texas that showed two hogs during a livestock show earlier this month.
  • She ended up raising $30,500 from the auction and plans to donate it all to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
  • Barber previously had brain cancer and successfully received treatment at St. Jude’s in 2017.

A Texas teen that survived brain cancer found a way to give back to the doctors and nurses that helped her overcome the deadly disease, earning thousands of dollars in a livestock auction and donating it all to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital. 

Maddie Barber, a 17-year-old that lives near San Antonio, was diagnosed at age 12 with medullablastoma. It’s a relatively rare form of brain cancer that predominately affects children, with the National Cancer Institute estimating about 3,840 people are currently living with the condition. 

After Barber received cancer treatment and surgery, she was left with partial paralysis on her right side, according to The Washington Post. 

It limited Barber’s ability to participate in traditional sports, so her family suggested she take up raising and showing farm animals. She joined the Future Farmers of America, and by early January Barber was showing two hogs she had raised since they were piglets. 


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Barber decided to donate all of her winnings from the show to St. Jude’s, where she received treatment for her cancer.  

“They removed my tumor and saved my life. I wanted to give back in some way to help other kids struggling with cancer to have the same chance,” said Barber, according to the Post. 

As Maddie took the stand and the auctioneer announced she would be donating all money raised that day to St. Jude’s, dozens of people in the audience raised their hands to contribute to her cause. 

In the end, Maddie walked away with $30,500, all of which would be donated.  

“Everyone stepped up, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Whether she ended up with $1,000 or $30,000, she was going to donate it all,” said Cheyanne Waltman, Barber’s agricultural science teacher and Future Farmers of America adviser, according to the Post. 

Barber has remained cancer-free since 2018. 


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