Make-A-Wish North Texas is celebrating a major milestone: granting its 10,000th wish for a child with a critical illness.
In a special ceremony at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Madison Kanneman debuted her own song that she hopes will inspire others, and it came with an extra surprise that she could have never imagined.
"It becomes a way of serving them," said Raymond Turner, the hospital’s in-house recording studio producer.
It was in that studio that the first chords were born that helped Kanneman crack out of a shell, formed through five years of pain and suffering.
"She went from being a gregarious little girl to a very quiet, sullen girl," said Madison’s mother, Stacy Kanneman.
At 13 years old, Madi had a brain tumor removed, and shortly after, her stomach, bladder and colon started shutting down.
"There are times when I can't eat, and so I'm in the hospital with a feeding tube,” Kanneman said. “But it's mostly a lot of pain and not feeling good."
But this day is not about those times. Kanneman's is the 10,000th wish granted by Make-A-Wish North Texas. Her simple dream was to bring her own music into the world.
"The title of the song is called Joy," Turner said, introducing the finished product to a crowd inside Cook Children’s main atrium.
Kanneman watched on with her friends and family as 'Joy' made its debut, along with a video sharing her story. The song is filled with all the emotion of the past five years.
In one line Kanneman sings, "feeling totally helpless nothing, there's nothing I can do." In the next: "I hope that joy makes me fly."
"You can see that there is pain but through it there's also hope and joy," Kanneman said.
And in the crowning joy of the day, Kanneman signed her own recording contract for new music with Warner Brothers Records.
"That was really crazy,” Kanneman said. “I'm kind of still in shock!"
As she quickly adjusted to the role of superstar, signing autographs for fans, her parents marveled at her progress.
"To see a moment like today where Madi could be standing, be on her own, be singing is, as a parent, indescribable," said Kanneman’s father, Paul Kanneman.
The simple power of a song helped Kanneman open up and spread her joy.
“Music has that ability to not only be able to convey that but draw people in where otherwise you wouldn't let them into that place in your heart," said Turner.
This is not Kanneman's only big accomplishment. She's already written and published five books and launched her own non-profit Kids with Cattitude that donates fleece blankets and toys to children in the hospital.