While battling rare form of brain cancer, this Clayton 11-year-old is giving back through jewelry

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Saturday, October 19, 2019
While battling rare form of brain cancer, she's also giving back
While battling rare form of brain cancer, she's also giving back

She's battling brain cancer while giving back.

We met McKenna Gardner at Duke Children's Hospital just before she headed into her second round of chemotherapy.

Earlier this year, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of brain cancer. Her head shows where Earl, her tumor named after the country trio Dixie Chick's hit song "Goodbye Earl, had been.

"One soccer game, my head felt like it was going to explode," the 11-year-old said, describing the days before her diagnosis.

Before cancer she was active -- playing soccer and riding horses.

"All the things I used to do, I couldn't do anymore," Gardner said.

For McKenna, jewelry making was a way to pass the time.

"We realized that she was doing a great job at it," Ryanne, Mckenna's mom, said. "And she said 'you know, maybe I could sell these and we could give money back.'"

McKenna's Mission it would be called.

McKenna's goal? To sell the jewelry she's made, raising money to hopefully bring more activities to the unit for other kids her age.

"That's just McKenna's heart," her dad, Andy, said. "She's a very giving person."

McKenna's dad and brothers wear her jewelry in support. The family of six was saving up for a new home when Earl appeared. Cancer left the family adding on to their current home, forfeiting the dream of a new one.

McKenna's treatment should be complete in December.

if you would like to make a donation to the Gardner family, there is a GoFundMe page set up. If you'd like to buy some of McKenna's jewelry, you can do so on her Facebook page.