Delbert Bavier’ Madison II was born on August 18, 1994 to Delbert B. and Kim P. Madison. He was considered a happy baby who did not seem to cry for much which later proved to be the trademark for his personality.
Growing up like most children, Delbert made friends and played with his friends. It was not until 2001, at the age of 7, when he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Delbert was told that he had this muscular deteriorating disease, but as a young child never quite understood the severity of the illness and why he was a little different from other kids physically. Also, after this diagnosis his teachers were notified so that they could address Delbert’s peers to help them better understand the disease and its effect on his physical health. Delbert had loyal friends and church members, many of them became very protective of him. For example, if he would fall while walking, which Duchenne’s disease often caused children to do, his friend would pick him up or help him until he got his balance. This protective care from his friends and family, carried over into his love and care for his younger brother, Damien.
Not all kids or adults were kind to Delbert because he had a somewhat unusual twist in his walk due to how the disease affected the torso and pelvic areas. Despite facing some negative situations as a young child, he was still a happy kid and enjoyed life.
Delbert gained a better understanding of his condition when he got a chance to be around other kids with similar muscular disorders every summer when he attended a weeklong camp, Muscular Dystrophy Camp (MDA Camp). Even though he never wanted to be treated differently in his everyday life, the MDA Camp counselors and staff treated him extra special. He participated in fun activities like regular camp kids, connected with kids with similar challenges and formed lifelong friendships with both the kids and camp counselors. Delbert looked forward to attending the MDA camp every summer; he attended the camp until age of 18. The MDA camp contributed to Delbert’s ability to cope with everyday life with his physical condition.
Delbert had exciting experiences during his elementary school years. He was crowned the kindergarten king of his class and earned a spot on a float in that year’s Christmas parade. He was recommended to be on the school junior safety patrol during his last year of elementary and carried out his duties to the best of his ability. In addition, he participated in the Cub Scouts and was able to do the activities without a wheelchair. He played a year of baseball for the Miracle League team with his wheelchair and his paired volunteer helper.
During Delbert’s middle school years, he was dependent on his wheelchair to get around but that did not stop him. Even though he could not walk due to muscle weakness, he still had good use of his hands to complete his work and maneuver his wheelchair. He attended all home football and basketball games to support his friends on the team and to show his school spirit. One of the highlights of middle school was during his last year when he was asked by the homecoming queen to be her escort at the homecoming dance and to have the first dance with her, which he did twirling her around in his wheelchair. His friends described him as the envy of all the guys at the dance that night. Quite the gentleman!!
Throughout his high school years, Delbert just never ceased to amaze his family and friends. He made it crystal clear that he never wanted to be treated differently from his peers despite his condition. Additionally, he was determined to be independent as much as he possibly could, even though he was assigned a school aide to be with him throughout the day. His teachers genuinely cared about him and went above and beyond the school required accommodations and modifications to make sure that he did not feel as if he was being treated differently.
In addition, Delbert developed great relationships with the football team and the coaches. He was named honorary football captain his sophomore year. As honorary captain, he led the football team out to the football field at the opening of the game. He attended every home football game every season. He watched the game from the stands his sophomore year but his junior and senior year he watched from the press box area due to weather conditions affecting his body.
The team cared deeply about Delbert. Once during the school day, the school elevator was having a malfunction and Delbert had to get to a class on the second floor. As a result, several of the team players carried him to the second floor while securely buckled down in his wheelchair so that he would not miss his class.
Delbert gave equal support to the basketball team, as he was a loyal fan. He attended all home basketball games for all three teams: girls’ team, junior and varsity teams. Also, he traveled to the state championship games with his family to provide school support.
Delbert became extremely ill his junior year of high school and was hospitalized. After returning home and recovering, the principal and teachers did everything necessary to ensure he had access to all missed assignments. With their help and coming from a family of educators, he completed all assignments in a timely manner and passed the semester. He continued to work hard, and he was inducted into the Honor Society his senior year.
Graduating from high school was a true blessing from God. Duchenne can often affect a kid’s ability to attend school by the high school level but not Delbert. He was able to beat the odds. Due to his determination and pleasant personality, the night Delbert graduated from high school as he rolled across the stage to receive his diploma, the entire graduating class gave him a standing ovation.
Delbert was loved and admired by his family and friends and he felt the same way about them. He enjoyed family functions whether it was going on family trips or going to the theater to watch movies. Delbert had such an impact on his friends that even beyond his school years, and camp years, he kept in touch with them and they kept in touch with him. His friends would often visit with him and watch sports or play video games in which he reigned as champion.
Delbert had a unique personality from not crying much as a baby to not complaining or wanting to be a bother to anyone throughout his illness. He showed appreciation to all that helped him in any form or fashion.
Delbert was such an extraordinary young man. He will forever be looked upon as a hero by those who loved and knew him. He had a great perspective on life regardless of the challenges he faced. He played so many excellent roles in his family and friends’ lives. He will be remembered by the distinctive nickname he created for himself, Dmoney as well as those given to him by others such as Rookie, Hurt, Boss, Jig, Bae, Coach, and Lil’ Pete.
The mission of the Delbert B. Madison II Foundation is to provide economic opportunities to students who have persevered through a life challenge.
Meet The Team
President and Founder
Vice President and