5th grader with cerebral palsy lights Hoover’s Christmas tree

Madison Etheridge will light Hoover's Christmas tree Thursday night.

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - On Thursday Hoover City Leaders will light the huge Christmas tree outside City Hall.

A special girl named Madison Etheridge will be flipping the switch to light the tree.

Madison, like most 10-year-olds, is excited about Christmas and all the festivities surrounding the holiday.

“Lighting up the Christmas tree that is going to be so bright and pretty,” Madison told WBRC when asked about her favorite part of the Christmas season.

Madison’s principal at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School, Scott Mitchell nominated her to light Hoover’s Christmas tree, and to her surprise, she was selected!

“I was surprised and I was happy,” said Madison.

“Excited, overjoyed, blessed,” said Sherita Etheridge, Madison’s mother.

Madison’s mom believes she was chosen because Madison is a positive influence at school and is an inspiration to many.

Madison was born with cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t stop her from trying new things.

“One of the things I love about Madison is I tell people she takes the ‘dis’ out of disability so I like to capitalize the ABILITY and lowercase the ‘dis’ d-i-s- because she really focuses on what she can do,” said Etheridge.

“I try and I’m very independent," said Madison, "so like I’ll see if I can do it and if I really can’t do it then I just won’t do it.”

But there’s not much she *can’t* do.

Madison enjoys lots of activities like cheerleading, dance, swimming and karate.

And now she can add lighting a Christmas tree to her resume.

The tree lighting will be Thursday at 5 p.m. in front of Hoover City Hall.

WBRC Reporters Clare and John Huddleston will emcee the ceremony.

You will be able to watch it live on TV and our WBRC News app Thursday evening.

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