11-year-old cancer survivor shares story before Relay for Life - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

11-year-old cancer survivor shares story before Relay for Life

Makenzie's first day at St. Jude (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother) Makenzie's first day at St. Jude (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother)
Makenzie's first day at St. Jude (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother) Makenzie's first day at St. Jude (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother)
Makenzie reading her dad knock knock jokes  (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother) Makenzie reading her dad knock knock jokes (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother)
When Makenzie found out she was cancer free  (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother) When Makenzie found out she was cancer free (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother)
Makenzie doing arts and crafts with her sisters  (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother) Makenzie doing arts and crafts with her sisters (Source: Erica Rangel, Makenzie's mother)
PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) -

One 11-year-old cancer survivor reminds people what Relay for Life is about. 

Several counties in Region 8 hosted Relay for Life events Friday for those battling cancer. 

Makenzie Rangel is now cancer free after years of fighting.

"First my lymph nodes starting swelling then I had a liver biopsy and then a few days after I found out I was diagnosed with cancer,” Makenzie said.

While many children her age were playing at school and in the parks, Makenzie spent a lot of her time in the hospital.  

"Just a few years ago I had to stay impatient during Christmas," Makenzie said.

Makenzie was placed in St. Jude Children's Hospital for treatment, and although she was happy to be getting help, she said it was scary.  

"I was really sad and scared of what was going to happen,” Makenzie said.

Makenzie said caring doctors and child life specialist made the time at the hospital better.

"They would always help me, they would always bring me stuff to do,” Makenzie said.

She said her favorite memory from the treatment days was when she was taken to the Pink Palace.  

"We were staying at the Ronald McDonald house and they picked us all up in a limo and took us to the pink palace," Makenzie said.

However, no matter how much the hospital staff tried to take her mind off being in the hospital, she still missed home.  

"I missed my family and everyone back at home,” Makenzie said.

Makenzie is now cancer free and finishing up the continuation phase to help prevent the cancer from returning.

She is happy to finally to be back home and almost done with her treatments. 

"I am excited that my treatments are almost over and I am ready,” Makenzie  said.

Friday evening will be Makenzie’s first time at Relay for Life and she is one of the honorees tonight for Greene County  

"I Hope there is a lot of people there and raising money for cancer awareness,” Makenzie said.

Makenzie is thankful for events life this to help those who went through some of the same stuff she did.  

"It makes me happy to see that many people participate in something like that,” Makenzie said.

Since Makenzie is one of the honorees Friday she will take the first lap with others starting the event.

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