Little McKenzie was born to Mandy and Jesse Young on May 2, 2012 perfectly healthy. Yet, only 10 days later, something was wrong. She was rushed to the ER of Children's Hospital of Dallas which became the beginning of a nightmarish seven-week ICU stay. A big blur of medical procedures and surgeries trying to keep McKenzie alive ensued. McKenzie had contracted the Enterovirus, a virus that is as common as the cold, but fatal to newborn babies.
The virus destroyed her heart within days and the only way of survival would have to come in the form of a heart transplant. With the waiting list for such a precious organ being between 6-9 months, the likelihood of her survival seemed very bleak. In constant prayer for a miracle, the Young family got one. Only 18 days later, a perfect little heart appeared for McKenzie. While the miracle had been answered, thoughts and prayers went out to the family who was experiencing grief from loss that was now allowing McKenzie to have her miraculous transplant.
McKenzie will always have costs related to this and will constantly be fighting to keep her immune system in check and ensure her body doesn't reject her new heart. It won't be an easy road, but little McKenzie has a powerful and courageous spirit! The race along with other fundraisers throughout the year will be to beef up her account with COTA (Children's Organ Transplant Association) for these anticipated hardships and future needs.
It was a bone-chilling morning at Harry Myers Park for the first annual "Run Your Heart Out" 5K and Fun Run. The date is also the 8th month anniversary of McKenzie's new heart! The run was sponsored through the COTA and was directed by Mrs. Tiffany Portis. There was an outpouring of sponsorship support in the way of monetary funds as well as gifts and raffle prizes that far exceeded expectations.
The turn out for this event was phenomenal! As event director, Tiffany Portis, announced, the total number of actual runners that morning was 318! The race was able to make a profit of close to $15,000 that will go straight to McKenzie's COTA fund! We want to thank the community of Rockwall and surrounding areas, to include the businesses within, that gave financially or in other ways, to this great cause! The day exuded a sense of community and love and we know that next year's race will only be greater! Be prepared for NEXT YEAR to run for McKenzie on February 22, 2014!
With much love,