Community celebrates life of Holton teen


A community is celebrating the life of Madison Taliaferro, who touched the lives of everyone around her. 

Taliaferro passed away on Dec. 15 in St. Louis, waiting for her second double-lung transplant, after a courageous, 18-year-battle with cystic fibrosis. 

KSNT News spoke to Madison’s mother while she waited for a new set of lungs. 

“She’s actually been blessed for six years with her second set of lungs,” said Desiree Taliaferro. “It’s not very common for someone to even live past the first year of transplant.” 

Many of the stories shared by Madison’s loved ones echoed the same message. She was constantly smiling and laughing, but also living everyday to the fullest knowing how grateful she was to be alive. 

“Fifty percent of every transplant patients pass away within the first year,” said Desiree. “She has surpassed all odds.”

Her mom read a good bye letter from Madison that she found on her daughter’s phone. 

“In my life all I ever wanted was for everyone to be happy and this isn’t a happy thing,” the letter read. “I want to talk about my life for a minute. I had an amazing life and I cherished everyday and moment like it was my last.” 

She led a normal and active high school life despite having the disease. Madison was vice president of Holton High School’s senior class, the manager for the football team and performed in school musicals. She was also a member of Resist, and served as State Resist Board Leader and president. 

Many of her teachers spoke at the funeral, from her kindergarten teacher to her high school teachers.

“Madison never used cystic fibrosis to not do her best,” said one of Madison’s teachers. 

The ceremony was followed by a private burial at the Holton Cemetery. 

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