The little girl from Monticello has spent most of the last year in a hospital, battling cancer. Family members in Newton County have been helping raise awareness of Mykenzi Adams’ story and are raising money to help pay for things the child and her family need.
Last October, Chelsie Williams, of Monticello, got out of her car and set her 3-year-old daughter, Mykenzi Adams, down so the little girl could walk.
Adams fell to the ground, screaming. “The next day, she started running a fever and I knew something wasn’t right,” Williams said.
For the next two weeks, Williams took her daughter to the pediatrician repeatedly. Finally, the single mother was told to take Adams to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon then, in turn, sent her to Egleston Hospital in Atlanta.
“They said it was an infection in the knee,” Williams said. “Then they said that wasn’t what was wrong.”
Less than a month later, Williams learned what was wrong with her youngest daughter. Adams, who has several family members in Newton County, was officially diagnosed with stage four, high risk neuroblastoma cancer.
Neuroblastoma is a tumor rising in the nervous system outside the brain. Adams has tumors in her pelvis, femurs, hips and chest. Because the cancer has spread, or metastasized, treatment involves a combination of chemotherapy, high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant and radiation. That course of treatment is followed by immunotherapy to remove any remaining tumor cells.
Adams, who turned 4 on Aug. 28, has been in the hospital for more than 300 days. She just finished radiation treatment, followed by six months of chemotherapy, two surgeries and two high dose chemotherapy stem cell transplants. “We won’t have her scans until next week,” Williams said. “They’re fixing to me know if everything she’s been through is actually paying off.”
Robin Morrell and Ricky Hall, Adams’s grandmother and step-grandfather have been Williams’ main support, she said. The couple has been taking care of Williams’ daughter, Makalea, 7, and son, Malachi, 9.
“Malachi is a little bit more [patient] with everything going on,” Williams said. “Of course, he misses me, but Makalea is really taking it hard.”
Williams said her father’s ex-wife, whose son had cancer when he was three, has also been an incredible support.
Williams has a large family, some she didn’t even know about until Adams got sick. S Go Fund Me page has been started at https://www.gofundme.com/Kenzi3 to help raise money for medical bills.
According to Hawkins’ post at the site, Adams is “the funniest, happiest little girl ever. For her and her family to have to endure this pain is heartbreaking. Her mother, Chelsie, is a single mom of three, trying to stay strong for her babies … “
The money raised, she said, will help pay for travel, medical expenses, food and other needed items. A former cook at Pizza, Wings and Things off of Highway 212, Williams said she had to take a leave to be with her daughter every day.
Though the Go Fund Me site lists a goal of $10,000, Williams said, “We’re trying to raise whatever helps – things to make Adams comfortable, gas money, some of the bills not covered by insurance.”
Hawkins also helped arrange for a fundraiser for Adams, hosted by and held at Beautiful Beginnings Farm, 3820 Reese Road in Newborn on Saturday, Oct. 22, beginning at 10 a.m.
The community has also rallied around the young mother and her family.
Oak Hill Church of Christ at 195 Snapping Shoals Road in Covington, will hold a blood drive in Adams’s honor on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Make-A-Wish has just let the family know a wish-granting volunteer has been assigned to help fulfill one of Adams’s dreams.
The young Monticello girl has also been named one of the “46 Faces of the Rally,” the Rally Foundation’s campaign to raise money during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September for childhood cancer research and to help families whose lives have been changed by cancer.
Williams said her daughter’s illness has been an inspiration to many. Seeing the child and her family fighting for life has made people more appreciative of having time to share with their own families.
“It changes people’s whole perspective,” Williams said.