Little girl has one chemo treatment left, tells her story
Her name is McKenna Hawkins, she's five years old, and when she was three years old, on Valentines Day 2012, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood.
Imagine living in an isolated atmosphere for most of you life. While most toddlers spend the day outside playing with friends, McKenna spends her days getting better.
"It was pretty tough. It was something, as a family, we prayed about, we talked about, and just got through it," said McKenna's dad, Jody.
The Hawkins family have centered their lives around hospital visits and cancer treatments for half of McKenna's life.
"She has required a lot of blood products and transfusions throughout her treatment. She lost her ability to talk, walk, she lost her hair," said McKenna's mother, Julie.
Fast forward to now, after all of the blood transfusions and chemo, she's an energetic five year old with a head full of beautiful hair. She talks. A lot. But her journey is far from over.
"One more month and we'll be officially done with chemotherapy and we're going to celebrate," Julie said.
McKenna will be able to attend a typical classroom setting when she starts first grade in the fall.
McKenna's mom adds that if it wasn't for blood donations over the past two and a half years, her baby wouldn't have made it.
If you'd like to help children, teens and adults like McKenna, please donate blood on July 29 at either the Cameron Center in Laurel, or C-Spire in Hattiesburg. Both centers will be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.