Makayla, 4 years Old
“Makayla Marie is a ray of sunshine to anyone who meets her. She can make you smile even when you’re feeling lower than low. Her laugh is contagious and is guaranteed to fill you with joy. She has an 8 yr old brother, Jakob, to admire and look up to and she does this on a constant basis. She tries to copy everything Jakob does, whether it’s playing Army outside with his friends, or trying to climb a tree.” – Elizabeth, Makayla’s Mother
With a vision of Cinderella’s carriage bed, Makayla’s bedroom will be an Enchanting Princess Dream!
Makayla’s Parents Story
Makayla was born on May 31st, 2009 and was diagnosed with hypertonia (strong muscular tone). Not such a big deal at the time, but soon we would find out why it makes sense. She was a late walker, around 13 months; compared to her brother whom walked at 10 months. For the past two years, we’ve noticed her walking to be very “pigeon-toed” and her balance was off–to the point of her running into walls and falling down for no apparent reasons.
Around Christmas of 2012, Makayla began complaining of headaches, and then she would vomit right after. These episodes began waking her from her beauty sleep, and we couldn’t have that. So mom took her to the Urgent Care, where they insisted it was just a head cold and prescribed some antibiotics. A mother’s intuition is a force to be reckoned with, Mom insisted it was more than that, and took Makayla to the ER across the street. They heard the symptoms and immediately ordered a CAT scan. Dad was at home with Jakob, but something told him he needed to be at the ER with Mom. As soon as he got there, the doctors came into the room – 3 of them. We knew it was something terrible. They showed us the CAT scan and it was a nightmare come true. On Jan. 4th, 2013, our hearts were broken. Our bodies were numb. All we heard was “tumor”. Despite the bad news, we needed to be strong for Makayla and Jakob.
From the ER, we followed an ambulance carrying our precious cargo to what we would soon know as our new home-away-from-home – Radys Children’s Hospital in San Diego (about 75 mi. away from our home in Lake Elsinore, CA). We still didn’t understand the severity of the situation, but the doctors at Radys fixed that right away. We couldn’t have asked for a better place for Makayla to be taken to. All the nurses and doctors in the ICU treated us like family. We quickly learned that Makayla would need an operation underneath her skull to remove the tumor. Thanks to Dr. Levy the neurosurgeon at Radys, on Jan. 7th, 2013, the procedure was 100% successful. That was GREAT news, because this meant they wouldn’t need to go back in to remove anything that got missed. But with good news, came bad news–it’s name is a medulloblastoma and is a common type of tumor, but this one specifically was a rarity of its type. It was malignant and therefore she’d need chemo and radiation treatment. The tumor is on the cerebellum and is most likely the cause of everything spoken of above: the strong muscular tone, the late walking, the inability to balance properly when walking…it all made sense now.
Makayla is strong. She is a fighter and anybody who knows her will say nothing different. She will be okay, there is no other option. God has a life for her like no other, and this road bump is here only to make her stronger and give her a story to tell. It’s only been two weeks and it’s already taught us all that we need to appreciate life and appreciate one another to the fullest. Through everyone’s prayers, thoughts, and support we will remain strong and in Jesus’ name this cancer doesn’t stand a chance!