Holton community celebrates Madison Taliaferro's life

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HOLTON, Kan. (WIBW) -- On December 15, Madison Taliaferro lost her battle with cystic fibrosis.

Services for the 18-year-old were held Friday at Holton High School where classmates, friends and family filled the gym at the school to celebrate her life.

Several people spoke during the service including her mother, Desiree Teliaferro, who read a letter Madison wrote before she died.

"In my life, all I ever wanted was to make everybody happy,” the letter said. “And this isn't a happy thing."

Madison left letters for her loved ones while she was waiting for her second lung transplant that never came. The notes shared positive messages and memories about her time at Holton High.

"Overall, Holton High School gave me a place that I actually wanted to go to,” the letter said. “Not just to learn, but to be surrounded by people that were almost always upbeat and happy. It was never just a school to me. It was a family."

While battling her illness, Madison was very involved in extracurricular activities and being a manager for the school's football team.

"She was like our little sister,” Konnor Tannahill, a member of the football team, said. “She was always smiling, she kept us positive when we were all down. Just a very great girl, a sweet girl."

She leaves her positive spirit with everyone who met her.

"You could be having the worst day ever and she could come up to you and make it all disappear like that," Ethan Teter, Madison’s boyfriend, said.

Madison was laid to rest at Holton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for memorials to be given to the Benefit of Madison Taliaferro that would then be designated to her school activities.

"Definitely the spirit that she had,” Nicole McGarity, a friend of Madison, said. “She was something you could only find in her.

"She made every day amazing."