9/11 Heroes are CheerMADs too!

Leticia Lynn Madden

  • Retired Police officer at NYPD

  • Studied Journalism at Florida State University

  • From Bronx, New York

  • Married to Eddie Madden

  • Mom of four including daughter Hailey, who cheers on Sr. Level 4 at Star Athletics

One of the greatest joys I have in creating CheerMAD is meeting amazing cheer parents. Leticia Madden certainly qualifies as one of them.

I met Leticia through this blog a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with her advocacy of anti-bullying in her daughter's gym, when I established the CheerMAD Parents Panel, she was one of the first I asked to join. As I'd hoped, she became one of the most active on the committee.

Gradually I realized I had no idea the capacity of her convictions and personal strengths. I would learn just how special Leticia is.

Not only is she in remission from leukemia and struggles with lupus everyday, the mom of four is a retired New York City police officer who was on active duty on 9/11, seen in photo above with husband Eddie who was also a NYPD police officer on duty that day. Pictured is the couple after Eddie transferred to become a a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department after the FDNY lost 343 firefighters that day.

When I thanked her for her service, Leticia was humble as usual.

"We honestly did what we had to, she said.

"The things I’ve done and seen on (the) job is beyond. But the lives we’ve saved makes it all worth it," she continued.

"I did love my job and miss it everyday but am glad I get to be a full time CheerMAD now. I’ve learned to move through the pain and try and pass (that strength) on to my kids. So long as we breath we have life and a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. Being strong and positive is key. Giving up is not an option."

This morning, Leticia was again at Ground Zero with her husband, who played with the FDNY Pipes and Drums during today's memorial. Tonight she is at some point of the daily CheerMAD routine: driving-sitting-waiting-feeding-supporting-loving her All Star, which also includes a five hour choreography session.

"I'm OK, but as always super emotional (on the anniversary)," she said.

Here is Leticia's account of her experience while she and her husband were New York City Police officers on 9/11 (Photos provided by the Madden family, including first-person images).

On Sept 11th, 2001 I remember the beautiful sunn