Madeline Lucia Tarazi

madeline tarazi
Celebrating And Honoring The Life Of Madeline Lucia Tarazi (5/23/2008 - 12/31/2022)

Our beautiful Madeline became an angel of Heaven on Saturday, December 31, 2022 at 1:15 AM at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC. She would have turned 15 this coming May, but her life was cut short by a brain tumor called DIPG. Her passing has been devastating especially for her 15-year-old sister Emily, her 5-year-old brother Jason Jr., her parents Jason and Evelyn, and both sets of grandparents. While we know that Madeline is roaming free in Heaven without any pain or discomfort, we will deeply miss her beauty, wit, sassiness, energy, smarts, smile, heart, silliness, and bubbly personality.

For 13 long months, Madeline fought courageously against DIPG, which stands for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. DIPG is a very aggressive and deadly form of pediatric brain cancer that originates in the brain stem. There is no known cause, and no effective treatment protocol. Approximately 200 children are diagnosed with DIPG every year in the United States. For more information on DIPG, please visit this site:

While it's important to understand what took Madeline's life, we don't want Madeline's legacy on Earth to be defined by DIPG. Instead, we want her legacy to be defined by her deeply-rooted faith, love for family, love for art, love for baking, love for plants and flowers, love for music, perseverance, and courageousness. Madeline was always a bright ray of light in The Tarazi Family home. She was not only Emily's younger sister, but also her best friend and they shared a very special and unbreakable bond. She was always brave enough to stick up for Emily and other friends whenever she was needed. Madeline also had a very deep connection with her paternal grandparents, Teita (grandma) and Jiddo (grandpa). They always called her "Boogie #2" since they have 3 grandchildren, and Madeline absolutely loved helping them care for their garden in the spring and summer. She was also Daddy's little girl and Mommy's "Madeline Cookie" and forever will be. Throughout her childhood, Madeline always loved dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments. She found her passion for cello in the 8th grade, and in May 2022 she attended the Spring String Thing at James Madison University with Emily. This was her first college dorm experience, and also a major performance accomplishment for her. When it comes to art, Madeline had the unique ability to multi-task by listening to a lecture and sketching at the same time, and she created some incredible pieces of artwork during those times (while always maintaining straight As). Part of Madeline's artistic talent also extended to acting and making countless videos with Emily throughout their childhood years, as well as knitting and making dozens of beaded necklaces and bracelets. Madeline's taste in music was incredibly eclectic and beyond her years in sophistication. She credits Daddy for getting her hooked on 80s music, but she also loved Nirvana, Oasis, Queen, David Bowie, Green Day, The Bee Gees, and many other legendary artists from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. She also loved Hamilton and knew all the songs like the back of her hand. She had the opportunity to see Hamilton at The Kennedy Center with Mommy and her sister in October; and that was a high point for her over the last year. Madeline also loved to bake — everything from cookies to banana bread — and she also looked forward to making homemade peppermint ice cream with Teita every Christmas. Madeline received the Sacrament of Baptism in 2008, the Sacrament of First Communion in 2016, and the Sacrament of Confirmation a mere 10 days before her diagnosis. Throughout her life she also shared a very special connection with her Godfather Bruce Oliver and her Godmother Nancy Oliver (RIP), and we know that Madeline is smiling in Heaven because we will be laying her to rest right next to Nancy at Fairfax Memorial Park. These sacraments and relationships helped to keep her faith unbreakable even during her final days, and she should always be remembered for being faithful and courageous throughout her life. We will all miss Madeline deeply, and we will always remember the memories we created with her over the last 14 years.

Even though the last 13 months of Madeline's life were very difficult, her bright light never died, and she stayed positive throughout her journey. After her November 2021 DIPG diagnosis, she underwent brain surgery for a tumor biopsy, received two separate rounds of radiation, and participated in two clinical trails. Ultimately, these efforts were unsuccessful in saving her precious life, and her neurological symptoms worsened shortly before Thanksgiving. Despite gradually losing the ability to walk, talk, and write, Madeline remained hopeful and faithful and continued to do many of the things she loved. She was an avid baker of cookies and banana bread, and she was also an excellent artist. In fact, she continued to draw, knit scarves and bags, and make beaded necklaces and bracelets until her hands no longer worked. Madeline loved playing cello, but unfortunately she could not do that when she started the 2022-2023 school year. However, she began high school via homebound, receiving instruction remotely through Zoom, and she was able to maintain straight As.

Madeline's perseverance and strength are shining examples for us all to follow when life gets tough. Bottom line, Madeline never gave up even as her health declined quickly in November. Moreover, Madeline's brilliance, wit, heart, and bubbly personality were positive influences on everyone she met, especially in her final day on Earth when she called her doctors into her hospital room to give them a thumbs-up and mouth the words "good job" even though she could no longer talk. Madeline touched so many people with her grace and love including family members, friends, teachers, doctors, and nurses. As she was dealing with the worst DIPG symptoms over the last 2 months, she continued to shine her light on everyone. Her faith was also very important to her, especially toward the end of her life when she was wheelchair-bound and still didn't want to miss Sunday Mass at The Basilica and lighting prayer candles.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts for Madeline's funeral and memorial services, we are requesting donations in Madeline's honor to Children's National Hospital Foundation to support DIPG research. Donations can be made through this link:

When a child is diagnosed with DIPG, the median survival time is 9 months, and almost no child lives longer than 2 years. The DIPG survival rate is effectively 0%. This is unacceptable and needs to change, but in order for that to happen, we desperately need to raise more funds for DIPG research. Unfortunately, these funds can be raised only through foundations or private donors. For us to defeat DIPG and find a cure, we need to increase the amount of research which will in turn yield an increase in the number of new clinical trials being opened for novel DIPG therapies. Madeline's brain and spine have been donated to Children's National Hospital to provide tumor and tissue samples that will advance DIPG research. We are asking others to join us with monetary donations in Madeline's honor. Every single dollar donated through this site will be used exclusively for DIPG research.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. If you would like to join us on Saturday January 14th to honor and celebrate Madeline's life, below are the details.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Vienna, VA

10:00am to 11:00am - Open casket viewing in the chapel

11:00am to 12:00pm - Funeral Mass in the sanctuary

12:30pm - Funeral procession to the cemetery

Fairfax Memorial Park, Fairfax, VA

1:00pm to 1:30pm - Interment at the cemetery

Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale, VA

2:00pm to 2:45pm - Service of Remembrance in the sanctuary which includes people sharing memories, listening to music, watching videos, and a piano performance by Madeline's sister Emily

2:45pm to 4:15pm - Reception in the fellowship hall with food, drink, and conversation

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Memories Timeline


  1. The most beautiful flower girls to share in our special wedding day, October 25, 2014. We love you Madeline and will always remember your sweet smile.

  2. Madeline’s sweetness, kind smile and gentle manner are the most memorable to us. The Tarazi family always stood out to us at St. Joan of Arc. It was their authentic togetherness that shined. When you thought of family, they came to kind. Heaven received another Angel, Madeline, you made a difference in this world and we will always remember you. Lovingly, the Page-Hoffmann Family

  3. Madeline will always hold a special place in my heart, as I know she will with everyone she came into contact with. Madeline had a smile that could light a room, a personality filled with love and the ability to make anyone laugh. Madeline was super smart and one of our favorite memories is when she “won” the money from Nick’s wallet because she knew the president on the twenty dollar bill. She was a flower girl in our wedding with her sister Emily. We love you Madeline, and I thank you for being a part of my life and leaving Nick and I with precious memories.

  4. I am so heartbroken to hear this. Even though Madeline was in my class only a short time, I never forgot about her. She was so eager to learn and always willing and volunteering to answer questions and help. She was the driving force of the LMS yearbook and made such valuable contributions in the beginning. It was such a joy to be her teacher, and my prayers are with her family.

  5. We are very sorry to hear Madeline, a very young angel, has passed. Our thoughts and prayers for her parents, family and fiends. Treasure the sweet memories.


    Greg & Heidy Bartell
    (Friends of Margarita & Ricardo)

  6. Teaching Madeline was truly the highlight of my week. Such a conscientious, dedicated, driven, creative young lady! It was a great priviledge to know her.

  7. So heartbroken and have only had the courage to read Maddie’s obituary today. Maddie lit up the room and the light in my daughter’s eyes when they were going to spend the day together. Maddie was a force of nature and we will always remember her for the spirited, talented, and kind person she was. Heaven has truly gained a precious angel. My deepest sympathies for you and your family, Jason. The courage to face this with the grace you have shown could only belong to you.

    – Rob Caicedo

  8. Madeline will always hold a special place in our hearts and family. Since meeting her in 4th grade we knew she would be a special kind of friend to Natalia. Caring, loyal and brave, Madeline made a tremendous impact in our lives as their friendship grew and was able to continue to grow despite the physical distance from FL to VA. The girls creativity and fun wonderfully flourish over the years with their self made writing club and many virtual adventures together. Their friendship is one that made a difference and will never be forgotten. She has been a great best friend to our daughter and we miss her terribly. Our hearts are broken and we send our thoughts and prayers to Jason, Evelyn, Emily, Jason Jr and family. Love, the Caicedos

  9. Madeline will always and forever hold a special place in our hearts. Thanks for all the great memories. She was such a precious child, heaven truly gained an angel.

    Love always the Butler’s.

  10. Q: What will you never forget about Madeline?

    A: As Madeline’s 3rd grade teacher I was in awe of her shining light and selflessness at such a young age. She was always quietly sharing her light and time with others who needed it—a student who was lonely on the playground or who needed support. She was wise beyond her years and one of the most thoughtful, faithful students I have ever had—truly an angel on Earth. Her shining light was SO bright and a beacon for others. I will never forget her and my heart aches for this world’s loss of such a beautiful human being so young. She has most surely joined the angels in paradise.

  11. Eulogy from Madeline’s Uncle Aldo

    I remember the first time I met Madeline in Charlotte, NC. Immediately you could tell she had a strong personality. Madeline was determined and would always let you know if something was not to her liking. When I switched the channel from her favorite cartoons, she would not hesitate to change it back or else. So the cartoon Caillou it was if Madeline was in the room.

    As she grew older she was outspoken and outgoing. Not to mention smart and always asking questions. When they lived in Florida, she swam in the pool year round. When I left in the morning, she was in the pool. And when I returned in the evening, she would still be there. Then for dinner, we would stuff ourselves with pizza from our favorite local restaurant. She had a bright future ahead of her. She could have become whatever she wanted with the kind of determination she had, and I was looking forward to seeing her grow up and to seeing the life she would build for herself.

    It breaks my soul to know that this will no longer happen. It feels not too long ago Madeline came to visit me in Chicago with her family. It was perfect fall weather in September 2021. They went to the museums and the aquarium. We met for dinner. Madeline and her sister would dive into their books between bites of pizza and Korean BBQ. She told me Chicago was her favorite city. I told her she is welcome to visit anytime she wanted.

    Then, a few months later Madeline was diagnosed with DIPG. When I found out, I was crushed. I flew right away to be with her. When I saw her, she was the same strong and confident Madeline I’ve always known. Truly an inspiration like none I’ve encountered before.
    It’s difficult to understand why her life had to end so soon. It’s nearly inconceivable that God would allow a young child to become ill, let alone pass away, and it’s easy to be angry at God for taking back the gift He gave. I choose to look at it another way.

    I believe she is now in a better place. She watches over her loved ones and waits patiently for them to join her. I also believe that she would want us all to dwell on the happy times we shared with her, and let the sad memories fade. Because that’s the Madeline I know and will always remember.

    I love you so much Madeline and will miss you always.

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