9 Years Old, 4th Grade West Chester, OH
McKenzie makes it impossible not to smile and laugh when you are with her. She knows that nothing is impossible, because she beat cancer when she was just 5 years old. Now the sky is the limit and McKenzie wants to do it all. McKenzie was only 3 years old when she was diagnosed with Pre B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She recalls the worst part of her treatment occurred when the nurses had to access her port, taking nasty medicine and not being able to go to school. Her advice for other children fighting cancer is to remember, 'It's all going to be okay. You might feel yucky at times, but you will be allowed to eat all the popsicles you want. Try to smile."
Over the course of 26 months of treatment, McKenzie endured over 20 spinal tap procedures and 11 types of chemotherapy. Thankfully, she is now in remission and is growing stronger every day. She is enjoying school, and Math is her favorite subject. She loves to eat at Skyline and her favorite movie is currently Hotel Transylvania. Most importantly, she has the energy to keep up with her little sister Paige, and her new baby brother. Together, they ride bikes, and go to the lake and listen to Taylor Swift.
Thanks to the LLS funded research, McKenzie hopes to be an architect one day, because she likes to build things. On behalf of McKenzie, her siblings, parents and entire community, Thank You for your continuous support!
8 Years Old, 3rd Grade, Cincinnati, OH
Calling all Star Wars fans, Liam is just like you! In fact, if he could be any character, he believes he would be Yoda. What character would you be? Well, this isn't the only think Liam enjoys. He's is one of the biggest football fans in town. Aside from his dashing good looks, there is something else that makes Liam so unique. He is a cancer survivor.
Immediately after Liam's 5th birthday, the family received the news that Liam had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The entire family was in shock. Yet, their spirit remained strong and faithful that Liam was receiving the best care imaginable, and thanks to LLS, the odds were on his side.
Liam recalls this chapter of his life as "scary", because he spent so much time in the hospital. He added that he felt embarrassed that he lost his hair. But, in turn, the advice he has for others is to "Be Brave and Strong". After just two months of treatment, Liam began remission and is already working on his next goals - to be better at video games.
Liam and his family have been graciously to volunteer as an Honored Hero in several LLS campaigns since his diagnosis. His journey and strength inspire all of us to continue fighting.
12 Years Old, 6th Grade, Cincinnati, OH
Ellie is as sweet as they come. Shortly after Ellie's 6th birthday, she was diagnosed with B Type Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. What she easily recalls of her journey are the amazing people at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. She calls the entity her hero because "all the people there that treated me were very caring and nice." Thanks to the family support and cutting edge research funded by LLS, she is now closing in on 3 years post treatment - with no signs of relapse!
Now, she is back to being the rock-star version of herself, singing and dancing whenever the opportunity presents itself. When she grows up, she hopes to be a singer, or possibly a charity fundraiser/advocate. But we know, the sky is the limit for this strong soul.
This year, she is transitioning to her first year in middle school. A fearless young lady, her warm and endearing spirit will certainly be felt by everyone around her. Ellie is a very charismatic soul with many hidden talents. Her favorite subjects in school include Reading, Music and Art classes. Despite a few challenges of chemo related learning issues (which require an IEP), Ellie continues to thrive and stay positive.
As a special note, Ellie wants to say "Thank You for helping other kids that need it and participating in Pennies for Patients."
7 years old, 2nd Grade, Mason OH
Ella Boynton was one week away from becoming two years old when her family felt as though something wasn't right with their beautiful daughter. But after a visit with their pediatrician, nothing could have prepared her family to learn that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - the most common type of childhood cancer. Over the course of the next two years, Ella experienced several bone marrow aspirations, many spinal taps/lumbar punctures, and a variety of chemotherapy, medications and countless hospital stays. Her family was thankful for the overwhelming support from their families, community (caringbridge.org), and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society- Tri-State Chapter.
Thanks to their faith, and lls funded research, Ella is now officially in remission and cancer free.
As she begins the second grade at Western Row Elementary School, the subjects she enjoys the most include Math, Writing and Reading; especially if it has to do with her favorite movie: Star Wars. If you have the opportunity to meet this brilliant young lady, you'll discover she's just your average 7 year old, who loves Chick-fil-a and pizza. She always wants to be playing with her friends, coloring or swimming. But what most don't know about her is that that she is fascinated with the Eiffel Tower. And we believe, if she makes her mind up to see it, she will get there someday.
Ella, her little brother, and her entire extended family want to thank you for support LLS and participating in projects like Pennies for Patients, Light the Night, and Team in Training. Together, cancer doesn't stand a chance!
15 years old, 10th Grade, Batavia, OH
Tyler is a passionate and creative high school sophomore at Clermont Northeastern High School. His favorite subjects in school are English and History and like most of the locals in their area, loves a good meal from Frisch's. (Mmmm!) Although most teenage boys concentrate in school and food, Tyler has a few other things on his plate.
In November 2016, he received an unexpected diagnosis of Acute Large Cell Lymphoma. As a 13 year old boy, he spent 6 months in intense chemotherapy. Tyler recalls the experience as being difficult because he just felt like he didn't have any control over anything that was happening in his body. However, the one good thing that he believes came from the entire experience was that his personality matured and he learned to appreciate life differently. Throughout his journey, he leaned on his love of music to get him through the most difficult times. He calls Taylor Swift his hero, because of her strength and ability to always rise above the hate and hard situations.
Thanks to the team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Tyler has been in remission for 15 months. And music continues to play a strong role in his life. He aspires to be a professional singer/songwriter in the future.