Madison Camp, Winston, GA

Madison Jade Camp will attend the University of North Georgia this fall, with an expected major in Criminal Justice with a forensic concentration. A member of her school’s Journalism Club, Madison rose to become Editor-in-Chief of the school paper. She’s also a member of the American Red Cross Club, the Student Advisory Council, and the National Honor Society. She says that as a volunteer tutor, she learned an important lesson, “that it’s OK to ask for help — it doesn’t mean you’re not smart. It just means you want to further your knowledge.”

In her last year in school Madison maintained a 4.0 GPA and took AP Government as well as Forensic Science, which will lead directly into her college courses.¬†Madison has also been able to use school activities to educate her peers. One teacher remembers, “Before I met Madison, I had never heard of PKU nor knew it was as serious a condition as it is. I spent a lot of time talking to her about her experiences, and I was so impressed with her desire to educate others. I remember a particularly memorable article she wrote the The Weekly Juice [the school paper] about her experiences with PKU. I was awed by her maturity and grace in handling PKU. She is a very gifted writer and communicator.”

Madison is engaged with her local PKU community in Georgia through attending cooking classes and other support events, and experimenting with low-protein recipes. She attended Emory University’s Metabolic camp and her dietitian said that, “her exemplary transition to self-care is a mode for others to find success in managing a complex disorder.”

Like most teenagers, Madison has sometimes struggled to maintain her diet, but since finding a stable and supportive home with a family friend when she was 15, she has been able to feel in control of her diet and her levels.¬† Madison has learned to cook for herself, track her intake, and keep her levels in range, all of which she sees as contributing to her academic success. She says she’s “very thankful to my clinic for being there for me all my life, and helping me in times of need, ” and credits PKU with teaching her how important personal health is: “[having PKU] can be expensive and tiresome at times, but I would not change it for the world.”