Micah is McKenzee’s little brother. Micah is 6 years old.
June 1, 2017 was the start of summer vacation. Makenzee had just graduated from kindergarten and happily looking forward to attending first grade with her new friends. Makenzee soon began complaining of having a headache. I first contributed her headaches to the high heat and possible dehydration. Makenzee seemed to be feeling better but then a new symptom became apparent. Makenzee had a loss of appetite, vomiting and the final symptom was her unsteady walking. I then took her to the emergency room on June 8,2017. The physician ran a panel of test including flu, strep and CT scan. After 1 hour, our world was forever changed. The physician came in and told me that Makenzee had a mass on the base of her brain. I felt the air leave my body. As I began to tear up, I couldn’t show her that I was now scared. As a parent we always question, what we could have done differently to avoid our children getting sick. Makenzee was taken to MUSC Children’s Hospital where further testing would be performed. Further testing did confirm a golf ball size mass on the cerebellum of Makenzee’s brain. This was the main cause of my little girl feeling the way she did.
Makenzee’s journey officially begins. Makenzee was scheduled for surgery for 11:00 am the following morning. Family and friends came in support of me and Micah as we waiting for Makenzee to get out of surgery. Just after 9:30 pm I was able to see Makenzee and she looked just as beautiful as when she went in by morning time Makenzee was awake. Dr. Eskindari came in to perform a few tests to determine a few things. Makenzee and gain full walking as normal, she could remember her name, name of family, her date of birth, etc. My little girl appeared to be back to normal. We continued and followed up with oncology and radiology. Makenzee completed 5 weeks of radiation and 6 rounds of chemotherapy. Makenzee is now 8 y/o. She is currently in the 3rd grade and is striving to be the best young lady she can be. She frequently has to go in for scans and bloodwork. We are still terrified every time. Right now she is stable and we pray that continues.
Makenzee’s diagnosis has affected the family in different ways. As a single parent with 2 children, it was quite difficult. Financially it was difficult because I would miss work for weeks at a time due to her treatment. I had a family member that kept Micah who was 4 y/o he was missing his mommy. I felt guilty because I couldn’t be with both children at the same time due to them being in different locations. We did have a few good times when Makenzee felt well enough and wasn’t hospitalized.
Thank you for all you do.