Makenna is a little warrior. Right from birth, we suspected something was wrong. She was sick and we did not know how to express to the doctor the issues we were seeing and it didn’t make any sense. How did the symptoms fit together; they were completely separate issues – digestive and respiratory. We soon learned the symptoms DID go hand in hand and they were caused from a disease called Cystic Fibrosis. We had no idea what that meant. In our best efforts to research this disease, our baby was now fighting, we found out this meant our child would live a short life filled with illness and pain. CF is a hereditary disease which mainly affects the respiratory and digestive systems by producing thick mucous which cannot clear from the body without aggressive physiotherapy every day and medication to aid in infection control and digestion. There is so much more to CF then I can even begin to explain as well as so many issues that can arise because of the CF like liver disease, diabetes, lung failure, liver failure, pancreatic insufficiency, malabsorption and so much more. In order to grasp this idea, you need to understand a day in the life of this amazing strong little girl we call Makenna Rose.

Just seven years into her life and she has already experienced more then many will their whole life. She has had surgeries, experienced trial and error with many medications battles with asthma and sleep apnea, liver and pancreatic issues on top of her already challenging lung disease. She spends more time doing physiotherapy and breathing treatments then she gets to play and has mastered the task of sinus rinses since 3.5 years old. She takes upwards of 30 pills per day just to maintain her weight, health and survival. This remarkable little girl lives this uncomfortable life without complaining. She has had to learn responsibility and accountability at an early age and has to carry the burden of her disease even when she wants to be with friends and family, but she does it with grace and pride.

One of the things that help Makenna cope are her Beads of Courage. Her beads provide a visual memory for everything she experiences throughout her journey. The beads are for everything including doctor’s visits, lab work, new or changing medications, therapies, emergency room visits and admissions. Every pin prick and visit is documented. These beads are Makenna’s pride and joy and they remind her daily that she can make it through anything.

We have 86 SHOUT OUTS left, if you would like to share your story! This is to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday, so we want to do 150 shout outs on ordinary Canadians that have accomplished extraordinary things or have an extraordinary story. Your photo and shout out will be published with the other 149 Canadians in the July issue! Email us! or click HERE for our submission page.

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