A beautiful, extraordinary girl with big goals, she was a champion trap shooter, a body builder, the favorite cousin and an artist. Maddie Stanger-Hollifield's greatest gift was her ability to share her love, joy and kindness with others. She gave the most amazing bear hugs in the world. You never walked away from her, even having just met her, without a hug. She had the biggest heart, always standing up for the underdog. She had a huge spot in her heart for homeless people or those who were struggling, often buying food, or coffee to give them. Maddie lost her life to a completed suicide on February 18, 2014. Many of Maddie's family members and close friends suspect this was related in large part to the irreparable emotional damage from being bullied. Maddie's family and friends started Maddie's Difference. Their mission is to support and promote youth, parent and community anti-bully and teen suicide prevention awareness, education and training.
This portrait received funding to go home to her family. A copy of Maddie's portrait continues to travel with Jessica and the Words Matter exhibit.