McKenna was just three years old when she was diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma/hypothalamic optic glioma, a type of brain tumor. She was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, and underwent four brain surgeries to remove portions of the tumor. In addition to the surgeries, McKenna required more than two years of chemotherapy and six weeks of proton radiation treatment.
Her challenges have been significant, such as re-learning how to walk, losing her peripheral vision rendering her legally blind, and dealing with hormonal imbalances from damage to her hypothalamus. But through all of this, McKenna continues to go out of her way to greet everyone with a smile and a hug. She loves to make sure other people in need are taken care of.
“Our challenges aren’t over,” says McKenna’s dad, “but this journey has brought us many wonderful friends, experiences, and love from the wonderful staff at St. Luke’s PICU and MSTI, our wonderful family and friends who continue to watch out for McKenna, and all the wonderful people from Camp Rainbow Gold, who help heal our souls.”