You might recognize McKenzie as one of our 2016 CCA Heroes, a title which she still embodies today. She’s known as a prankster with the medical team, playing tricks on them and working her sassy charm. She’s also a kind, thoughtful girl, whose positive outlook inspires everyone who meets her.
In 2014, her life changed dramatically when an unassuming sniffle and cough, turned out to be a rare virus. Twelve days later, she was paralyzed from the neck down. The disease took McKenzie’s ability to move, including the ability to dance, something she had loved so much and had connected her to a passion for music.
Spending years in and out of the hospital, working intensely on her health with speech and physical therapists, McKenzie’s relationship with music, which had been so important when she could dance was not gone, but also not what it used to be.
A Music Video Director is Born
Today, she loves pop music and it’s rare to name a song on the radio McKenzie doesn’t know. When MyMusicRx Specialists learned that McKenzie loved music, they offered her the opportunity to take part in a Bedstock music video. Bedstock is an online music festival, where artists play from bed for kids and teens stuck in their hospital beds. Each year, CCA also offers the opportunity to kids and teens so they can be “on stage” with their favorite artists.
Suffice to say, McKenzie was ecstatic, and immediately began to direct the entire shoot! She knew exactly the songs she wanted to sing and told Caitlin to come back later in the afternoon so that she could change into her favorite shirt, brush her hair and practice the songs.
When Caitlin returned that afternoon, McKenzie was ready to perform! It was a huge success for McKenzie and brightened her day. While McKenzie made it look easy, she struggles to speak, and it took extra breath and effort for her to sing.
“To hear her singing felt like such an achievement,” said MyMusicRx Specialist Caitlin. “It’s also important to note how much motor control it takes for her not only to grasp a flashlight but to hold it throughout the song. She announced to everyone that she was so proud of herself and she was going to share this video with her “followers!”
A Love for Music Empowering Change
While McKenzie’s relationship with dance has changed, she hasn’t let her love of music slip away and in fact she’s using it to inspire. Music empowered her to assert herself and direct others for a change. Now she can share with her friends, family and followers that she can participate in successful activities, just like them.
McKenzie has big plans for her future, she’s decided that when she grows up she wants a job that helps children with music. Not only does she have CCA Hero on her resume, but now she can add “Director” as well.
You can help deliver joy to kids just like McKenzie by donating to CCA today.