McKenzie's Story

Our family was blessed on September 16, 1998, with the arrival of our precious Angel, McKenzie Morgan Monks.

McKenzie arrived into a family that adored her every breath. She was a true blessing and as every parent knows, life with a child is a true gift. She was happiest trailing right behind her sisters, Michelle and Mandy. We always laughed because her taste was 8 years older than her actual age. If her sisters liked it; she liked it. By 2 years old she was wearing the hippest styles and singing along with the hottest hits and you could always count on a dance performance with every song and a hug at every corner.

On December 17, 2001, tragedy struck McKenzie and her family. At the age of three years and three months, she was diagnosed with bi-lateral Wilms Tumor: cancer in both kidneys. She immediately went into surgery and treatment. Life would never be the same for her and all those who loved her. The innocence of childhood was stripped from her life. She now faced a life of doctors, needles, 11 months of chemo, 12 surgeries, 50 radiation treatments, pain and the brutal process of undergoing a bone marrow transplant. This was the life of a beautiful 3 year old girl. While most children were happily playing, she was undergoing the painful process of trying to kill the cancer cells growing in her innocent body.

And what did she do? She loved. She laughed. She played. And yes, she danced.

On August 7, 2003, 6 weeks before her 5th Birthday, McKenzie left the life of pain that she had undergone for nearly 19 months. She left behind a legacy. A child who never had the opportunity to go to school taught so many lessons, to so many people about love and life. She taught us all that life is a gift and should never be taken for granted.

It is our family’s intention, as well as many of those who loved McKenzie, to let McKenzie’s spirit and name live on by helping children endure the painful process of fighting cancer.

The mission of The McKenzie Monks Foundation is to sponsor and participate in providing toy rooms at oncology departments as well as hospitals with arts, crafts, movies, toys, gifts and objects of comfort and entertainment that will help a child endure and cope with the long days of treatment. After living, seeing and experiencing the life of these children, we know the need and see the opportunity and importance of helping to assist patients and families dealing with a relentless disease.

It is our hope that you will also see the need and embrace this opportunity to help us make a difference in children’s lives who are Coping With Cancer.

Best Regards,

The Monks Family
Richard, Denise, Michelle and Mandy