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About Us

The Maddie Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fund that was established in 2020, in memory of Madeline Hart Pollard. At the age of 22, Maddie passed away after a heart breaking battle with bipolar depression. Maddie’s family created The Maddie Fund as a means of continuing to do the work that Maddie herself had begun to do and was studying to do - helping others who are suffering from mental illness. Through the generosity of family and friends like you, The Maddie Fund provides financial support for a variety of mental health and wellness organizations and programs that promote mental health and provide therapies and other forms of support for those suffering from mental illness.


The goal of this website is to be a resource for individuals and their families who have been affected by mental illness and are looking for information and answers. We know the challenges that exist when you or a loved one is suffering from mental illness and we want you to know that you are not alone. There are literally millions of other people out there who are dealing with similar experiences, and there are many great organizations and programs accessible online and/or in your own community that have the resources and experience to help you find relief and begin to heal. 


Our hope is that this site will help you find some of the information and answers that you are looking for, and direct you toward services and resources that can help to get you the support that you need now.

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About the Site

About Maddie

Maddie was a beloved daughter, sister, cousin, and friend.  She was a beautiful, wonderful, and all-around awesome person.  Intelligent, passionate, funny, hard-working, and deeply honest, Maddie loved to laugh and was happiest when in the company of family and close friends. Some of her favorite things included listening to music, painting, and doing things in the great outdoors, like hiking, skiing, and playing tennis.


Symptoms of Maddie’s bipolar disorder began to become apparent at the age of 19, after her freshman year at Cornell University. The illness came on quickly and strongly and rapidly changed her life and that of her family and close friends. Because of her challenges with mental illness, Maddie had chosen to major in psychology. She was an active volunteer at mental health clinics, and quickly discovered that the thing that made her the happiest was helping others- she had decided that she wanted to pursue that as her life’s work. Sadly, Maddie’s bipolar illness ultimately cut her life and her work short. But, we still feel Maddie’s spirit with us every day, and we know that she takes joy in the work that The Maddie Fund and the organizations that it supports are doing for others who are suffering from mental illness.

We, Maddie's family and friends, are extremely grateful to all of you who have provided support to the The Maddie Fund. We are also very thankful to all of the people, everywhere, who donate their time, their money and their hearts to helping others who struggle with mental illness. You are making a difference and it has never been more needed. Thank you.
About Maddie

Maddie’s bipolar illness was intense, but Maddie was a fighter and tried many different forms of conventional and less conventional medications and therapies to find relief. There never was any one “magic pill” that helped Maddie to manage her depression and manic episodes, but she did find relief in a variety of forms. We’re certain that Maddie would want us to share with you some of her favorite therapies and would encourage you to try these and other therapies to find what may “work best for you”:


1. Quality Time with Family and Close Friends- “No stress, no judgement, all support” time with family and close friends was really important to Maddie. 

2. Group Therapy with People of Similar Age- Maddie found meaningful relief and encouragement from her group therapy sessions. Although she was shy, she truly benefited from participating in group therapy, knowing that she was not “alone” in her condition and her struggles. 

3. Volunteer Work- Maddie really enjoyed volunteer work, and she truly shined while she was doing it. Being able to help others made her so happy- and it would take her mind off of “her own self” and her own suffering. 

4. ​Walks and Hikes-  Getting fresh air and out in nature on local walks or bigger hikes, usually with the dogs and her mom, provided a nice lift to the day.

5. Art "Therapy"-  Maddie took an art (painting) class with her Dad shortly after her bipolar symptoms started to develop.  She got hooked quickly and began to sketch and paint as a release. She found peace in art, it quieted her mind.

6. Pet “Therapy”- Maddie loved to be with our dogs at home (and on walks). Being with the pets clearly put her mind at ease and took her to lighter, brighter places. 

7. “Structure” and Coaches- Having a routine and staying with it was always a good thing. Maddie was at her best when she was "busy" (but not over-scheduled!) and stayed with a regular routine. At different times, we found that “life coaches” and academic coaches helped to motivate her, pull her out of ruts and keep her moving forward.

8. Exercise- Maddie really enjoyed hikes, walks, tennis, and skiing. She would almost always feel better after being active outside or exercising at home or a gym.

Maddie's Therapies

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