Madison Faith Chatten
February 29, 2004 – May 3, 2005
IN LOVING MEMORY
On an average North Dakota day, a not so average little girl was brought into our world. Madison Chatten, a Leap Year baby, was born February 29, 2004 in Dickinson, ND. This was her statement to the world that she was special. Her parents Aaron and Sheena Chatten, thought the world of their little girl. She was their first child and they couldn’t have asked for more. She was a healthy, smart, beautiful, and had a distinct personality at a very young age. Madison was the kind of child that made everyone happy that knew, met, or saw her. She was an amazing child that was very full of love.
She had a love for music and it was show by the way she would “dance” and “sing” when the sound of music hit her ears. Some of her favorite toys were the ones that played music or a tune she would bop around to. She was a complete show off and a little flirt.
Her contagious laugh warmed your heart and when around Madison you just couldn’t help but smile and be happy.
But, on May 3, 2005 in Glasgow, MT Aaron & Sheena’s life was changed forever when their daughter Madison, was backed over by another parent at her daycare driving a large Suburban SUV. The driver could not possibly see behind Madison when she was backing up. The blindzone behind a vehicle of that size is between 18-25 feet!! Madison’s life was taken immediately; she didn’t stand a chance. But, on her short time on earth Madison left a lasting impression on many people. Baby Madison was an angel on earth, and now she is an angel in heaven. She will never be forgotten and always be missed.
Madison’s father, Aaron Chatten had taken the loss of his daughter and turned his grieving into promoting change. He worked for years to educate parents about the dangers children face around vehicles. He continued to pursue an solution so other parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and families don’t have to go through the pain of losing a child. He started the Madison Faith Chatten Foundation, which will help work towards keeping other children safe in Montana and throughout the country. The foundation also helps fund emergency surgeries and medical expenses for small children in Montana, and helping with education expenses of underprivileged pre-school age children by giving away pre-school scholarships etc.. Through Madison’s foundation, many children’s lives will be touched with the hope that Madison’s tragedy will not be in vain. The loss of her life will improve, enhance and save the lives of thousands of children.
WE LOVE AND MISS YOU MADISON
LOVE, MOM AND DAD
“The eyes of a child and the eyes of an angel are much the same, similar in so many ways. The eyes of a child look through the filter of their innocence: the eyes of an angel look through the filter of the innocence of their wisdom.”
Update and special note:
It is with an inconceivable amount of grief we share with you the tremendous loss of Madison’s father, Aaron Chatten, a KidsAndCars.org family member. Aaron Chatten left this world on November 14, 2010. Tragically, it was a motor vehicle crash that took his life.
Aaron is one of the most genuine, caring and passionate people we have ever worked with who tirelessly helped to make the world a safer place for children. He is by far the youngest grieving Dad we have ever worked with after the unimaginable death of his beautiful daughter, Madison. Aaron took the loss of his daughter and turned his grieving into promoting change.
Aaron Chatten’s passion to help others is truly inspirational. We first spoke to Aaron in February of 2006. We called to tell Aaron that what had happened to his daughter was not an accident, but something that is preventable and happening to 50 children each and every week. Upon hearing this Aaron decided immediately to get involved…his first words being “how can I help?”
Aaron began an educational and legislative campaign about the dangers children face in and around motor vehicles. He became an immediate advocate and educator. His efforts were instrumental in the passage of the important child safety legislation, “The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act” which was signed by the President on February 2008. This is the only Transportation Bill that has been passed in the US since 2005. (as of 12/10)
Aaron joined us frequently in Washington, DC to speak with legislators about these unthinkable deaths and injuries that were happening to children. He decided he wanted his voice to be heard and was determined that MT Senators sign on as co-sponsors to the child safety bill which was part of Aaron’s effort to protect children. Aaron spent countless hours convincing MT Senators and other US Congress people that children being backed over by vehicles was indeed a significant issue and that we needed their help to prevent more tragedies. He told his heart wrenching story repeatedly in an effort to help our lawmakers achieve a greater understanding about how children are being injured and killed at alarming rates. We will never forget Aaron speaking from his heart at a press event. He began his speech in tears with a very simple opening, “I don’t want to be here;” and everyone knew why.
Aaron’s efforts resulted in both MT Senators cosponsoring the child safety bill!
Aaron is a true hero in every sense of the word. His efforts are truly selfless…his hard work would not bring his daughter back, but will prevent this from happening to another child and prevent another family from experiencing the tragedy that Aaron and his family have had to endure.
We will deeply miss this true champion and someone we are proud to call our friend… Aaron Chatten.