THE HEART OF GOLD
SUPERPOWER: CARING FOR OTHERS
When Maggie Holton was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at age 3, she and her family spent a lot of time at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, Ohio, where Holton received treatment. It was one of the biggest in the country and served as an important support for Holton and her family.
At the age of 6, freshly in remission and filled with youthful optimism, Holton visited some friends at the Huntington RMH and was taken aback by the difference. “They had a playground that was super small, and not many kids could play on it,” she says. “I had a friend named Jacob, and he was in a wheelchair. He loved to swing, but there wasn’t one he could get in.” Determined to play with her friend and give other kids a nice place to play, Holton immediately set to work. Selling her own artwork, organizing lemonade stands—one made $8,000—and rallying the support of her Facebook community, Maggie’s Mermaids, Holton raised $50,000 for the playground that stands on the grounds today. “I like helping out and seeing the kids there play with it and enjoy it,” she says.
But she didn’t stop there. Her latest project is to help the Huntington RMH raise another $1.5 million for renovations and an indoor playground. When the goal for the project jumped from $100,000 to its current number, the young girl was unphased. “I was the one discouraged,” her mother, Kim Holton, says. “She was like, ‘I can do it!’” Holton has committed to raising half a million dollars for the project and has raised more than $136,000 so far.
When it comes to helping others, Holton—now 8 years cancer-free—offers this simple advice: “Do whatever you can. Just believe in yourself that you can do it, no matter what.”
Learn more about our Wonder Women
Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. WV Living is proud to celebrate these Appalachian mothers, millennials, and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate, love for one another is all we really need. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.