This past week the Barron family received some very sad news about their 6-year-old daughter MaKennah who is a first grade student at Washington-Franklin Elementary in Farmington.
She was diagnosed with a stage four cancerous tumor on her brain stem.
MaKennah, an active little girl, is currently undergoing tests. Her parents, Ashley and Nathan, have already been told that the tumor is inoperable and the MRI that was done Thursday night showed an amount of blood in the tumor that will not allow them to do a biopsy.
On Friday morning they were doing a port placement on her, which can remain in place for several weeks, months, or even years, and can be used to reduce the number of needle sticks in the vein, provide chemotherapy or other treatments that last longer than one day, give more than one type of chemotherapy or other treatment at a time and allow blood testing and treatment on the same day with only one needle stick through the skin.
MaKennah is unable to attend school while she goes through testing and treatments. The cancer, otherwise known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG is a very rare form of cancer that is terminal and only affects children.
The Barron family currently has no medical insurance, so family and friends have organized fundraisers and a GoFundMe account to help with the medical costs. MaKennah’s aunt, Laura Redmond, has put together a silent auction that will be held at Hub’s Pub in Bonne Terre.
“This is going to be a rather large silent auction because we have had a lot of donors contact us,” said Redmond. “We have drop off locations for anyone or any business who wants to make a donation for the auction. We have also had people want to donate food, so we are going to try and have a dinner with it as well.”
Items being donated can be dropped off at two Farmington locations, Dr. Sago’s office with Patti Bayless or Big River Broadband with Ashley Chrisco located at 101 Jefferson Street or in Desloge at Money for You with Kristy Lynn Martin located next to Little Caesars. They would like to receive all donations by Thanksgiving weekend so they have time to put everything together. Anyone who wishes to donate large items for the silent auction can contact Laura Redmond preferably by text at 573-915-9515.
In addition to a silent auction, they are also holding two separate gun raffles and a raffle for a pair of tickets to see Garth Brooks in concert. Redmond said they are getting more tickets printed because they had gotten more than 4,000 tickets on Thursday and they have already sold out of them. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Mega Sports in Farmington.
“We are selling T-shirts and bracelets that say Miracles for MaKennah and her favorite color is purple so that’s the color of the shirts,” said Redmond. “Shirts and bracelets can be purchased at Midwest Orthopedic Pain and Spine or online through a PayPal account that can be found on the Facebook page.”
Midwest Orthopedic Pain and Spine is located at 606 Maple Valley Dr. behind Buffalo Wild Wings in Farmington.
Family cousin and lifelong friend, Stephanie Tedder said the family’s Facebook pages were flooded with posts and messages so she created the Facebook page “Miracles for MaKennah.”
The page will post updates on MaKennah and information on any upcoming event.
“They needed a break from it all and within a couple days there were over 2,000 members on the group page,” said Tedder. “We also helped by creating the GoFundMe account and the account at First State Community Bank because we want them to know when the bills start rolling in, they won’t have to worry so much. Just one of her prescriptions was over $300.”
They have also distributed collection jars for local businesses to collect change to help with the medical expenses. Tedder said that they have businesses contacting them to help out from Farmington to Bonne Terre.
“We have been so overwhelmed, just in the last few days the people who don’t even know them have donated $25, $50 on the GoFundMe page,” said Tedder. “It’s unreal. It’s awesome just to see how many good people there are in this crazy world.”
As of Friday, the GoFundMe account called “The Barron Family” has raised $9,685 in just two days to help go toward medical bills. The highest donation they received was made anonymously in the amount of $1,250 and there have also been a wide range of donation amounts. Whatever people have been able to afford, the family appreciates.
MaKennah’s birthday is coming up on Nov. 26 and there will be a community birthday party on Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. for her for anyone who would like to come.
“It’s going to be held at Farmington Creative Arts Centre located at 2746 Highway H in Farmington,” said Redmond. “Everyone is invited to come if they want or if they want to send something to her for her birthday, it can be mailed there.”
Redmond said MaKennah loves the color purple, butterflies, Barbies and anything girly. She said she really wants a double stroller for her American Girl Dolls.
The First State Community Bank account “Miracles for MaKennah” is now open and anyone wishing to donate can make donations there. The bank sent out an email to all local banks so people could donate at their personal banks as well and all donations will transfer in to the “Miracles for MaKennah” account. The PayPal email address email@example.com goes directly to the First State Community Bank account set up for the family as well.
There has been an outpour of community support for MaKennah and her family with everyone trying to help raise money to offset the cost of medical expenses. There will be a pancake breakfast with Santa and pictures at Mineral Area College in the North College Center on Dec. 6 from 8 to 11 a.m.
• Raffle for guns and Garth Brooks tickets can be purchased at Mega Sports in Farmington.
• Silent Auction will be at Hub’s Pub. Details to come.
• T-shirts and bracelets can be purchased at Midwest Orthopedic Pain and Spine is located at 606 Maple Valley Dr. behind Buffalo Wild Wings in Farmington or online through PayPal which is posted on the “Miracles for MaKennah” Facebook page.
• Donations can be made through the GoFundMe account titled “The Barron Family.”
• Donations can also be made through First State Community Bank account, “Miracles for MaKennah,” online, as well as through PayPal with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Pancake breakfast with Santa and pictures. Dec. 6 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Mineral Area College in the North College Center. For more information contact Missy Burnia at 573-631-9111 or Melissa Dunn at 573-366-0338.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com