Mackenzie Gefre Memorial Fund

Mackenzie Gefre was a loving mother, wife, daughter, brother, sister, and aunt. She passed away suddenly at the age of 29. What we had thought was a bad asthma incident turned into walking pneumonia. When the doctors were confused about why the supposed pneumonia hadn't cleared up, despite 2 rounds of antibiotics, we went to a pulmonologist. Two days later, we discovered that Mackenzie had actually been suffering from gradual heart failure, of which fluid buildup in the lungs is a symptom - similar to pneumonia. That was a day after she had a massive stroke that killed well-over half her brain. Within two weeks, Mackenzie was gone. Unfortunately, while Mackenzie was devout in her becoming an organ donor, the alleged pneumonia prevented her from even tissue donation. She is survived by her husband, a five year old autistic daughter, and a two year old daughter.

The funds raised here are to support her medical expenses, their children, and her husband; who will raise them in her honor, doing his best to ensure they will never forget their mommy; and remember her before she was loaded into the ambulance. These funds will also replace social security survivors benefits, which her family was unable to obtain, as she had not worked enough in her life, choosing instead to care for others.

About Mackenzie:
- She grew up in the bible belt; around Memphis, Tennessee, and in Olive Branch, Mississippi
- She was a competitive cheerleader in her youth, competing and placing third at nationals with her Desoto County Starz team
- She was fierce, to the point of bullying her younger brothers' bullies - and made sure that everyone knew she'd never back down from a fight. She'd tell you that after the throw down, even if she lost, the other would certainly be feeling it the next day
- She was fond of technology, and wary of it in its early years, disguising herself online – using her sister’s name to avoid kidnapping
- She met the love of her life online, when she was eleven, in an America On Line chat room, initially thinking he was a girl because of the username, which he promptly abandoned the next day
- She was blunt, never afraid to tell you what she thought, and why she thought it, never beating around the bush about the benefits of good communication
- She adored all things Disney, from collecting all the movies, to 90’s Burger King cups, to trouncing any she played against in a Disney trivia game
- She dreamed of one day becoming a nurse or a teacher, since she'd cared for her sick grandmother during her early years, and found she had a knack for it, as well as having a commanding, gentle rapport with many children (at one point a friend was jealous at her ability to soothe even her kids)
- She was always a supermom - at one point, when River was early in speech therapy, River's therapist at one point saying our home looked about as well equipped as her office, if not more
- She was quick to act if either of the girls was struggling somewhere, always making sure they had what they needed; many times packing her mommy "go-bag" for any outing
- She always made sure that the girls understood properly any punishment, and why it happened, to avoid continued troubles down the line.

Above all, she loved her family, oftentimes taking a few minutes to hold one of us, calming her, and helping her forget about whatever was on her mind. Family was more important to her than anything.
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Jason Gefre 
Gainesville, VA

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