DUNWOODY, GA -- Two months ago, a healthy local seventh grader suddenly found himself fighting for his life. These days he's still fighting -- and he's not alone.
Chip Madren can't leave the hospital right now; he can't even talk. He's a 13-year-old for whom baseball and outdoor sports used to be favorite hobbies.
But then, far more pressing issues took precedence.
"This summer, he was having some balance issues and some double-vision," recalled his aunt, Gerri DiCarlo. "Then they did an MRI, and they found that he had a tumor in his brain."
Since then, Chip has been through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation to get rid of the cancer inside him. The surgery was so invasive it took away his ability to speak. But the best news is that so far he is improving -- diligent in his rehab and right on schedule with his recovery.
And then, there's Chip's Nation.
In the past few weeks, Chip's story has traveled where Chip himself cannot. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan came to visit him at the hospital. His classmates at the St. Jude School have bought bracelets supporting "Chip's Nation", a fund that has started to help pay for some of the extraordinary medical expenses facing the family.
On top of that, former Brave Bruce Benedict is donating the proceeds from the Benedict Baseball Academy to this spunky teenager.
"This is a great opportunity for the people in our community to do something for Chip," Benedict said Monday. "And the money goes to Chip's Nation Foundation and to his fund."
Click here to visit Chip's Caring Bridge page.