Mackenzie was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM), a rare autoimmune disease, when she was 3 years old. JDM is an inflammatory disease of the muscle (myositis), skin, and blood vessels that affects about 3 in 1,000,000 children each year. The cause is unknown. She spent many years wondering why God would make her this way; asking us if she would always have problems and never be like other kids. She felt alone and hurt and often cried about her aches and pains, physical and emotional. It wasn't until she was 9 that we found out her disease was a form of Juvenile Arthritis and a whole new world opened up to us.
Last summer we were fortunate to receive a scholarship to assist Mackenzie and me to attend the Juvenile Arthritis Conference. For the first time, we were around people who knew what it was like to have problems similar to ours. For the first time, we met other families with kids Mackenzie could really talk to about herself. For the first time, we met another child with the exact same diagnosis. For the first time, I found moms who could share stories of their child's sufferings. We learned so much at this conference about her disease and the resources available to help her fight it. It was an amazing experience, and is one Mackenzie hopes can be duplicated again this year.
Mackenzie and I put together this Crowdfunding opportunity to seek the fundraising efforts of those who want to help. Reward levels are listed for various portions of the trip, but anything you are able to contribute will help. Everything raised over $1,500 goes directly to Juvenile Arthritis Foundation. It would be amazing if we could double our goal. Remember Mackenzie is only 1 of 300,000 kids with some form of arthritis. Help spread the word so we can support Mackenzie's dream "to cure all arthritis" come true. Thank you...and remember Kids Get Arthritis, Too!
- Ms. Jill
- Junenile Arthritis Foundation
- Anton Reece
- Candace Stewart
- Michael Patterson
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