MINDEMOYA—As she heads off to college this fall Makenna Brooke Lentir will do so with a new computer which also includes headphones and accessories, all provided through a wish she was granted from the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Canada.
“Neat-o,” stated Makenna on opening her gifts in front of family, friends and local representatives of the Starlight group last Thursday evening. “I’ve been waiting a long time for my own computer,” she said.
“You will now be all set for school,” stated Makenna’s mother Andrea.
Jeannie O’Regan, of the Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada explained in a release, “when a child is seriously ill and the treatment is stressful, tiring and painful, the idea and anticipation of a Starlight wish can often help to offset this experience. Special moments and happy memories are important parts of being a child, especially for a seriously ill child. The simple act of deciding on a wish can empower a child or teen when much of their world is controlled by illness.”
“A Starlight wish provides a unique once in a lifetime experience to children between the ages of four to 18 years (up until their 19th birthday) who are seriously ill. In this happy place of dreams come true, there are no doctors or social workers, just a little stardust!” said Ms. O’Regan.
Mr. O’Regan explained that Makenna had been referred to the Starlight Foundation by the Manitoulin Central Family Health team for a wish. “She is receiving a 13 inch MacBook Air with headphones and accessories!”
“My daughter, Makenna was first admitted to our local hospital on May 18, 2016 with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing,” wrote Andrea Lentir. “The following day she was taken to Health Sciences North in Sudbury and was taken to ICU, and put on a machine that helped her with her breathing.”
“After a two week stay in hospital in Sudbury and given multiple tests, x-rays and scans she was then transferred by helicopter to CHEO in Ottawa in Ottawa, where she received more tests, scans, x-rays and was given a lung biopsy, kidney biopsy and had a central line put in,” continued Andrea. “She was then given the diagnosis of Anti GBM disease/Goodpasture’s Syndrome. Through all of the uncertainty of what was wrong with her and being given so many tests and scans to try to determine a diagnosis, she remained positive, upbeat and never complained, which to me was amazing and I was so proud of her.”
Andrea continued explaining that Makenna, “had approximately 15 plasma exchange treatments and six Cyclophosphamide (Chemo) treatments to try to keep the antibodies from attacking her lungs and kidneys. She lost a lot of hair and remains on a high dose of prednisone, which they are trying to lower slowly.”
“She still is unable to do anything strenuous, walking any distance or upstairs will leave her out of breath, and she is tired a lot,” said Andrea. “Through all of these challenges, she has been able to keep up with her schooling (even taking an online course last July while in hospital) and she will be graduating in June. She loves children, and has been accepted by various colleges to take Early Childhood Education.
“(Makenna) continues to have daily challenges but we are hopeful that she will regain her lung function and be able to do the things she loves doing, her favourite activities are fishing and hunting,” continued Andrea. “To me my daughter is my hero; she endured endless blood tests, scans, x-rays, and almost every test imaginable with little to no complaining and continues to live the most normal life she can. I hope you can consider this wish application for her. I think she truly deserves it!”
Makenna told the Recorder she will be attending Cambrian College in Sudbury this fall to take courses in Early Childhood Education.
On hand for the presentation was Linda Taylor and her daughter Diana St. Pierre who are both local Wish Granters with the Starlight Foundation. Ms. Taylor pointed out one of the functions that is used to raise funds for wishes is the annual Lake Kagawong Small Mouth Bass Derby.