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Anastasia, Emma and Madison smallerMadison Irby knows all too well about loss. Her father died in a car accident when she was six years old. Her mother remembers those first terrible years — the grief, the isolation, the hiding in the house on father’s day. When Madison was 12, her mother enrolled herself. Madison and Madison’s younger brother in Families in Grief, a Hospice Austin six-week bereavement program for families. That summer, the kids attended Camp Brave Heart.

Madison made close friends with other families at camp. The families started seeing each other every chance they got, even spending holidays and vacations together.

Since then, Madison and her mother have volunteered at registration for Camp Brave Heart. Madison’s job has been to calm down nervous campers and let them know how much fun camp is and how much it helped her. She’s a senior now in high school and hopes to volunteer at all 3 days of camp this summer. She recently appeared on KXAN’s Studio 512 program to talk about her experiences at camp. You can watch it from our website here.

“Madison’s life — our lives — would have turned out very differently if it hadn’t been for Hospice Austin,” said Madison’s mother.

Applications are now available for Camp Brave Heart on our website. Please help us spread the word.