Jackson was an amazing 12 year old boy who had been battling leukemia, the side effects, and subsequent treatments since 2013.
After being diagnosed, Jackson received multiple rounds of intense chemotherapy, requiring a hospital stay of 283 days, and was finally in remission. In December of 2016, Jackson relapsed and would need a bone marrow transplant. The transplant took place in 2017 with his mother Danielle being the donor.
Danielle is a single mother who fought along Jackson's side, day and night. Danielle also has a 14 year old son named CJ that she independently cares for.
In April 2019, Jackson took a turn for the worst. Jackson was placed on life support in a medically induced coma while he fought for his life.
Unfortunately, on May 15, Jackson lost his battle and is now in heaven with God and his loved ones.
Money raised through KCP this year for Jackson will help pay for expenses after the loss of her son as well as help with the financial burden his family continues to hold.
Makenzie, is diagnosed with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB). RDEB affects approximately 6 newborns per every million born. It is also known as the "scarring type"; as Makenzie's blisters heal, they cause scar tissue which decreases mobility over time. Typically, blisters and skin erosions are present over the entire body, including the mouth and digestive tract.
At the simplest level, RDEB results from a mutation in the gene that makes collagen 7. Collagen 7 is the main component of structures called anchoring fibrils, which anchor the top layer of skin to the bottom. Without these fibrils, friction, or other minor trauma, can cause Makenzie's two skin layers to separate. This separation leads to the formation of blisters.
There is NO CURE for RDEB.
The most effective treatment is to prevent friction and the formation of blisters, and to appropriately dress blisters so they heal.
We are fundraising for both Makenzie's current and future needs. Daily bandage and wound care costs total several hundred dollars. Mackenzie comes from a single income family, as her mother, Liz, left her job to care for Makenzie.
Makenzie has been accepted into the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, for an experimental Bone Marrow Transplant. Simply put, the transplant is the delivery system of healthy collagen producing cells into Makenzie's body. As she blisters post Transplant, those cells will be directed by her body to eroded areas, starting the healing process and infusing her skin with collagen producing cells. Over time, the hope is that Makenzie will develop collagen producing cells all over body, improving her skin's integrity and her overall quality of life.
This procedure is not FDA approved, thus the cost is high; depending on how Makenzie does and her length of inpatient stay, the transplant process averages $1-2 million.
Makenzie's insurance companies pre approve her transplant, but anticipate out of pocket costs ranging between $100,000-$200,000. Mackenzie's family believes this is Makenzie's best hope for a "normal life", and faces the potential complications knowing that less time spent doing wound care, and more time spent playing, is a choice they are confident in. Makenzie has also dealt with several throats blisters and her first esophageal dilation, her family would like to give her the gift of eating for pleasure, and limit the horrible blistering that can occur with elimination of bowel movements.
Additionally, her family says
"The last 2 years have been an emotional, life changing journey, teaching us to fully embrace the statement "take each day as it comes". Nothing is guaranteed and treasuring the happy, positive moments is a MUST. Makenzie will face much adversity in her life, but she has proven herself to be a fighter capable of amazing things. Our goal, our "dream", is that our beautiful little girl will live a life full of confidence and strength; most importantly, that she learns to own her disease and never regret it for one second. Instead of asking "why me", we will teach Makenzie to say "because I can"."