2019 ARRM Cares Award Winners Madie Uglem
Published on December 9, 2019
Lizzie has always wanted to go camping; however her diagnosis had created some barriers to ensuring her safety in that environment. These challenges were something Madie was willing to help break to ensure Lizzie would be able to participate in something she has always longed to partake in.
Madie began working with Lizzie and instantly formed a bond with her. Madie was going to be in it for the long haul and wasn’t worried about the daunting self-injurious behaviors Lizzie exhibited. Throughout the countless hours Madie spent with Lizzie each week, Madie eventually found out Lizzie had always wanted to go camping. Madie problem solved each risk area for Lizzie and developed a plan to control the environment as much as possible. Madie found a local park which would keep Lizzie close enough to her medical team but also gave the sense of being in the woods and this is where their overnight expedition would begin.
Unfortunately, weather changed Lizzie’s plan of camping outside. This didn’t stop Madie. Madie continued working on the goal, but changed the scenery of the trip. She donned a sign on Lizzie’s bedroom door that said: “Lizzie’s Campground!” A tent was put up in Lizzie’s room with clear lights hanging on the outside of the tent to portray the stars when the room was dark. Lizzie felt like this camping experience was so real, when she saw everything put up in her room she asked “Is there a bear?” Madie not only planned the sleeping arrangements but ensured the meal was planned as it would have been if the camping trip were outside. She helped Lizzie purchase hot dogs with the fixings and baked beans. They ended the night with homemade smores!
Madie was able to assist Lizzie to make her dream come true of going camping. Madie didn’t let any barrier discourage Lizzie from not pursuing her goal and took the time to adapt the environment to ensure it was as authentic as possible. Lizzie was beyond happy to have been able to camp with Madie.
Madie is one of six 2019 ARRM Cares Award Recipients in Minnesota. We are proud to have her on #TeamCCRI