Five-year-old Madelyn Boyko loves making bath bombs with her mom, and she loves her younger brother Preston, who has been diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS).
After a while of making bath bombs just for fun and for the family, and eventually giving them to friends at school, she decided she wanted to sell her bath bombs.
She came to her mother, Jessica, with the idea to sell the bath bombs they made to support CdLS research.
“I love him so much,” Madelyn said of her younger brother, whom she says is one of her best friends.
Madelyn says she wanted to sell the bath bombs she makes with her mom to help raise support and awareness of the rare genetic disorder.
Jessica says she was very proud of Madelyn when she decided to raise money for her brother and CdLS.
“[Madelyn] is one of Preston’s biggest supports and advocates,” Jessica said.
CdLS is a genetic disorder present from birth, is and not usually inherited, according to the CdLS Foundation. The rare genetic disorder causes a broad range of potential physical, cognitive and medical challenges, known as the CdLS spectrum disorder.
It typically affects: growth, with smaller body and head size; skeletal system, with smaller hands and feet or missing forearms and fingers; development, with delayed development, intellectual disability or learning disabilities; behaviour, with ADHD, anxiety or autistic features; and internal body organs including the GI, cardiac, genitourinary and neurologic body systems.
The CdLS Foundation says it occurs in approximately one in 10,000 live births.
“It’s OK to be different, that is what makes you special,” Madelyn said.
The Made by Madelyn bath bombs are kid-friendly, Jessica says, with scents shapes and surprised catered to children.
A popular scent featured in the bath bombs is cotton candy, which Madelyn says is her favourite.
“We are mostly directed at kids. There are so many bath items out there for adults, like you have places like LUSH, but there isn’t much out there for kids,” said Jessica.
“Maddie will come up with an idea, like having secret colours or a toy inside and I figure out how to make it possible. Really it is all Maddy and I just help make it come to life.”
After a busy first year, and an overwhelming Christmas season Madelyn and Jessica are taking some time to plan a new spring/summer line.
This will include new scents and surprises for the summer season.
“We have the CdLS bath bomb that has a new scent every season, like at Christmas it was peppermint,” Jessica explained.
In the new lineup or products, Made by Madelyn will also include some new sensory items to make bath time fun, though the duo is waiting to announce new products for now.
“My friends think they are really cute and they really like it,” said Madelyn.
This last year, the Sylvan Lake community has stepped up to support the Boykos and Made by Madelyn. At Christmas, Made by Madelyn sold 1,000 bath bombs in two weeks.
Stores have approached the mother-daughter team to sell their products for them, and help reach more potential customers.
Lodge 43, formerly known as Open Range, is now selling a chicken burger with $1 from each sale being donated to the Canadian CdLS Foundation. The Chicken Club, also known as the Preston and Madelyn Burger is a permanent feature on the menu.
Jessica says she has been “blown away” by the support they have been given.
“How do you sum it up?… I can’t put into words how much I appreciate [the support],” Jessica said.
After undergoing a few procedures, Jessica says Preston is happy right now, and is grateful to the support the family has gotten from the Canadian CdLS Foundation, even through the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information about CdLS can be found www.canadiancdlsfoundation.com.
Product releases for Made by Madelyn bath bombs can be found through the Facebook group of the same name.
Follow Megan Roth on Twitter