How Does ‘Sister Wives’ Maddie Raise Awareness for FATCO?

Sister Wives Maddie Evie Brush FATCO syndrome

Sister Wives fans may recognize that Maddie Brush’s daughter, Evie, has something a little extra special about her. Maddie does a great job of advocating for her children and raising awareness for FATCO syndrome. Keep reading to find out more about how Maddie Brush advocates for her daughter’s “limb differences.”

How did Sister Wives Maddie and Caleb Brush find out about Evie’s limb differences?

About this time last year, Maddie shares an ultrasound photo explaining that her daughter has a limb difference. When she and Caleb found out during a routine ultrasound, Maddie has mixed emotions. “It was mixed emotions because I’m like, ‘I’ll take less than 10 fingers,’ but also nobody wants to hear that their daughter is going to be born without all of her fingers.


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A post shared by Maddie Brush (@madison_rose11)

In a recent Instagram post, Maddie shares a photo of the toes on Evie’s prosthetic foot painted. Maddie goes on to share on Sister Wives about how she wants to raise her daughter. “I don’t want her to ever feel like it’s a limitation. I don’t want her to feel like it’s a crutch. She’s going to be a fierce fighter.”


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A post shared by Maddie Brush (@madison_rose11)

Evie has two surgeries to make things easier for her in the future.

Around her first birthday, Evie underwent surgery on her hand and foot. The surgery on her hand clipped the webbing, thus giving her more mobility. Additionally, she had a Boyd amputation. This amputation is done on Evie’s foot in order to make things easier for her prosthetic. Eventually, Evie may have surgery to help straighten out her limbs.


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A post shared by Maddie Brush (@madison_rose11)

What is FATCO syndrome?

FATCO is the acronym for fibular aplasia, tibial campomelia, and oligosyndactyly syndrome. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines FATCO syndrome as a “rare, genetic, congenital limb malformation syndrome.” Furthermore, the most common symptoms are abnormality of the calf bone and/or abnormality of the shank bone. According to the NIH, the aforementioned symptoms affect 80-99% of people with FATCO.

The following symptoms affect 30-79% of people with FATCO syndrome:

  1. Abnormality of the cardiovascular system
  2. Finger syndactyly or webbed fingers
  3. Premature birth
  4. Respiratory insufficiency
  5. Short stature
  6. Split hand/claw hand
  7. Fused ankle bones

Sister Wives fans become aware that Evie has FATCO syndrome at the beginning of Season 15. In the Evie introduction episode, Maddie explains what is going on. “If anybody doesn’t know, she has a syndrome called FATCO syndrome, she is missing bones.” Maddie’s mom, Janelle Brown, steps in to further explain Evie’s syndrome and “limb differences.”

How does Maddie Brush advocate for Evie and FATCO syndrome?

While Maddie Brush has gone above and beyond to advocate for little Evie, that doesn’t mean it’s been without consequence. Unfortunately, one of the downsides to being in the public eye is the abundance of total strangers that criticize your every move. Gutwrenchingly, she’s also gone through something that is all too common among most mothers- mom guilt.

Women’s Health Magazine reports on how Evie’s diagnosis “triggered mom guilt” for Maddie. “Just so much guilt. But I was also relieved because there could have been a whole lot more wrong,” explains Maddie. Notably, Evie is missing a thumb and a toe. Additionally, she is. missing a fibula (calf bone) in one leg, had a bowed tibia (shin bone), and prior to surgery, two of her fingers were fused together.


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A post shared by Maddie Brush (@madison_rose11)

While the Brush’s were hesitant to publicly share about Evie’s condition, they decided that trying to hide it might make things worse in the long run. Additionally, they had concerns that it might make Evie feel bad about herself in the future. In an Instagram post, Maddie shares more about their decision to be transparent about sharing about Evie and FATCO syndrome. “As a family, we have decided to be open as we walk through this journey. We want Evie to always feel pride in who she is, and all that god gave her.”

Ultimately, Evie is “healthy in every other way,” shares Maddie. Maddie also shares how things will be for Evie growing up. “There will be limitations, but not huge hindrances,” says Maddie.

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