Meet Makenzie!! Reviv was introduced to 11-year-old Makenzie and her mom Alina in October 2020 when we learned they were traveling to from West Virginia to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to receive treatment for Makenzie’s chronic pancreatitis. Initially, Reviv assisted Makenzie and her mom by providing gas cards, hotel stays, and groceries for their trips. Reviv donors even stepped up to provide Christmas gifts for Makenzie and her siblings during the holidays!
In January, things changed when Alina called Reviv upset. Makenzie needed a life-changing surgery. They were not only nervous and scared about the surgery, but also about having to move to Cincinnati for 2 months for care during and through recovery. Reviv walked with Makenzie and her family through this process; helping to plan their trip and, again, providing gas cards, hotel stays, and groceries. Just as importantly, we were able to help build their community by introducing them to another family who had previously undergone the same surgery. The encouragement they received from this family helped to ease some of the trepidation they were feeling prior to the procedure. There were still some tough days, and when mom needed an ear, Reviv was there to listen.
Makenzie’s surgery went well and she was able to be released one day before her 11th birthday! With friends and family back in West Virginia, Alina reached out to Reviv to see if we could stop by and wish her happy birthday. We did her one better and threw her a party in the Reviv Room! Alina commented it was nice to see a smile on her daughter’s face again after her party with cake, balloons, gifts, and lots of fun activities. Makenzie even got to meet a dog that has the same condition as she does! She wanted to hug and hold her ‘dog twin’ all night long.
We are happy to report Makenzie and her family is back in West Virginia now, but they keep in touch and visit us whenever they travel to Cincinnati. While they were here Makenzie and her sister were able to design their own Sidekick. Reviv volunteers were able to bring their creations to life for their journey home. Now, each time Makenzie hugs her stuffy she will remember there is a community of folks in Cincinnati that love and support her and her family.