New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Hockey club donates $1,000 to honor late city teen
WEST HAVEN — The city Department of Parks and Recreation has received $1,000 on behalf of the New Haven Raiders Hockey Club toward the purchase of a tree and plaque in Painter Park in memory of Madison “Madi” Cicarella.
Madi, of West Haven, died of cancer July 16; she was 13. In honor of the avid camp participant, Tom Conroy, a program coordinator at the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the department’s Camper of the Year award has been renamed the Madi Cicarella Camper of the Year award.
West Haven residents rallied around Madison for seven months as she dealt with myelodysplasia, a rare blood cancer. She was “adopted” by First Congregational Church of West Haven, which held a prayer service for her, and community members pitched in to offer financial support to Madi and her family.
Following a stem cell transplant, Madi was transferred to a hospital in Westchester, N.Y. Heather Shea, a friend of Cicarella’s mother, Nikki Stancarone, and a spokeswoman for the family during Madi’s illness, said on July 15 Madi was moved to Yale New Haven Hospital “to be with all her family.”
“She passed surrounded by family and love at Yale,” Shea said.
Madi was remembered for being a bright light to all who met her. Those who knew her before her cancer diagnosis said Madi appeared shy at first, but had a lively sense of humor and wisdom beyond her years.
“She was the heart of her family, and always will be,” her obituary said.
But the teen also was known as a sports fanatic.
“She was one I could banter back and forth with about hockey. She was a (Washington) Capitals fan and I’m a (New York) Rangers fan,” Jessica D’Amato, Madi’s seventh-grade English teacher has said “This sweet little soul telling me my Rangers were awful.”
Conroy received the check from Rick Ziegler on behalf of the hockey club.