7 year old McKenzie loves life, she loves going to school, loves swimming, music, watching her sister play netball, going to the movies, surfing, shopping and just being around her family and friends.
McKenzie also battles a rare movement disorder that doctors have been unable to explain. The involuntary movements of her body make daily life a challenge and her condition means McKenzie’s needs are extremely high and very expensive. She became life-threateningly unwell in Dec 2013 (developing Status Dystonicus) and in September 2014, after being in so much pain and so heavily medicated she couldn’t function, McKenzie underwent Deep Brain Surgery (Deep Brain Stimulation).
Amongst the medical fraternity, her surgery was very risky and groundbreaking: she is the youngest patient in Australia to have had this surgery and the youngest in the world to have the particular brand of stimulator. But as her mum Sheryl explains, the risk of the surgery has been more than worth it – it has changed McKenzie’s life: “From the moment she woke up our lives changed. Far more than I could have ever expected. From a child moving violently and constantly to being able to lie still without anything moving. She has never had control of her movement and can now purposely move her legs or arms and do things on command. She is working very hard on head control, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and is trying to communicate through verbal vocalization. My little girl is free from being trapped in her body. She is living the life”.
But McKenzie’s fight isn’t over. Medication and therapy costs alone are extremely high and her family self-funds everything. Her family want to get her communicating and to gain some independence. She understands everything that is going on and has the most awesome personality (a real cheeky chops!). She speaks a thousand words with her beautiful eyes and facial expressions.
Our dream is to help McKenzie communicate and tell her mum how much she loves her. This means helping contribute to her ongoing therapy (and other) costs.
“She is the greatest gift; she has taught me what’s important in life. She is a blessing to this world and I couldn’t be more proud of her and the strength and courage she has shown through all the challenges she has faced. One strong little soul” – Sheryl, McKenzie’s mum.
If you would like to know more about McKenzie and her story please visit her Facebook page McKenzie Tamala Support Group. Thank You for making a little girls life just that much brighter and helping to give her all the opportunities she deserves.
To Donate to McKenzie Tamala, please use the form below. Thank you for your generosity.
Hi, I am Trinity Grace Harding and I am five years old. While I haven’t had the easiest start to my life, I get up each day and I make the most of it, I do not let my Cerebral Palsy hold me back and I continue to fight, just like a warrior! I have recently just hit a major miles...