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Madison and her mom at the Blue-White scrimmage on Friday. Photo by UK Athletics[/caption]
Madison Winstead's mom was able to watch her daughter participate in her first meet as a UK swimmer; but it wasn't under normal circumstances for several reasons.
To start, Winstead is a senior at Paul Lawrence Dunbar, set to graduate and join the UK swim team at the end of the school year. She had to be cleared by the NCAA to participate in the blue and white scrimmage that took place on Friday. Why did she do this? Because her mother Shane was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer with liver metastases last January and it's not a guarantee that when Madison suits up for real in the fall that Shane will be healthy enough to be there.
According to Guy Ramsey of UK Athletics, Winstead was able to keep her idea a secret from her family up until the NCAA cleared her.
"This winter, Madison reached out to the UK coaching staff about the possibility of competing in a meet this spring to make sure Shane could be there when she wears a Blue and White cap for the first time. Neither of her parents knew a thing about it, other than a five-minute conversation she had with her father Keith months ago originally broaching the topic.
“I just really wanted the opportunity to wear a UK cap and to guarantee that she was going to see it,” Madison said. “So why put it up to chance in the fall when I knew if we did it an April while the whole team is there, then we’d be sure that that was going to happen. And they took that idea and ran with it.”"
Read the full story by UK Athletics here
Also, check out this video that The Today Show did on Madison and her family:
Thoughts and prayers to the Winstead family and good luck to Madison next season!