Touching hearts one Katie-Do Kare Kit at a time

Maddie+Domian+tends+to+children+with+cancer+by+gifting+them+a+Katie-Do+Kare+Kit+each+month.

Elena Sherwood

Maddie Domian tends to children with cancer by gifting them a Katie-Do Kare Kit each month.

By Caroline Steidley, Kirkwood High School

Maddie Domian’s aunt was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. When Maddie heard this, she knew she couldn’t just sit around and watch, hence the start of Katie-Do Kare Kits. 

Maddie’s aunt passed away in September of 2016. After this, Maddie didn’t want anyone to have to go through what her aunt did.

Maddie Domian, a sophomore at Rockwood Summit High School, seems like your typical high school student. She enjoys hanging out with friends, watching TV and participating in sports at her school such as performing on the Silver Stars Rockwood Summit varsity dance team. However, Maddie is not your average kid. She believes that no child should have to endure chemotherapy, as her website describes. However, to help children currently receiving chemotherapy cope with the treatment, Maddie and other volunteers send specialized care kits to children who are diagnosed with cancer. 

I wanted to do something bigger to make other people happy.”

— Maddie Domian

 “[When my aunt was diagnosed], I started selling cookies at garage sales and  saved all that money, and I [then] donated it to the American Cancer Society,” Maddie said. “I did that every year until she passed away.”

 When Maddie’s aunt passed away, she wanted to make sure she kept aunt Katie-Do’s memory alive. According to her website, Maddie’s goal is to bring comfort to children who are battling cancer by just doing a small act of kindness.  

Every month, Maddie sends handmade kits to children at hospitals who are battling cancer to help ease side effects such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue. The kits include chapstick, socks, blankets, puzzles and more. 

“I went to my school and  told my principal this idea, and we got the whole school involved,” Maddie said. “I told the school my idea [at an assembly] and that’s how we started doing it.” 

In March of 2016, Maddie held a drive where she, with the help of her classmates, assembled 50 kits and delivered them to hospitals for the first time. Since then, Maddie’s program has taken off and has delivered thousands of care packages since 2016.

Maddie’s organization has been recognized by news stations across the country. She has been featured on The Today Show, ABC News and USA Today. 

“It was super random at the time because my school did so many service projects,” said Maddie. “When [the] Rockwood [news team] came in and filmed, I just thought it would just be on their website.” 

She has even traveled to Florida to deliver her care packages. Maddie was also nominated for the Prudential Spirit of Community award in Washington D.C., where she met many other kids who also have service projects of their own. 

 Maddie is the head of the charity, but knows she could not do it alone. Her family and other volunteers help donate and gather the care packages. Organizations and businesses such as Girl Scouts, Great Clips and Girls On The Run help make Maddie’s charity possible by holding fundraisers and donating supplies. Michelle Domian, Maddie’s mom, and Maria Domian, Maddie’s sister, also play a big role in the organization. 

According to Michelle, she is the brains behind the organizing and delivering of the packages. Maddie likes to call her mom the “manager” of Katie-Do Kare Kits. 

“I will tend to help set up and organize those deliveries,“ Michelle said. “I help connect the pieces together.”

Maria also provides a helping hand. She enjoys assembling the packages and going in the car to deliver them to the children. 

Maddie’s mom said she tries to teach her daughter life lessons, and that she finds it fulfilling to see her child start to project them onto others. She is happy to call Maddie her daughter.  

“It’s a good feeling,” said Michelle. “As a mom, you’re proud.”

Maddie’s favorite part about her charity is seeing how excited the children get when they receive a package. She said she can’t believe how just a small act of kindness can go such a long way. Maria’s answer is similar.

“It’s so inspiring to see their reaction,” Maddie said.“It makes the whole project just ten times more meaningful and valuable.” 

According to Maddie’s website, she never would have thought that just a simple act of kindness would lead her down this path. She has now sent over 1,000 kits and can’t wait to deliver more. By sending these kits, Maddie hopes she can brighten a child’s day.

This story was originally published on The Kirkwood Call on January 13, 2021.