Vancouver Island Variety Kids: Mackenzie

Vancouver Island Blog is featuring a four-part series to introduce you to four very special Vancouver Island kids who are making a huge difference in their local communities through Variety – The Children’s Charity. In previous weeks you met Angel and Nicholas. Today you’ll meet Mackenzie.

Growing up somewhere like Vancouver Island, playing outside for endless hours, running at the beach and riding bikes under the sun are all part of a typical childhood. However, none of this is something Mackenzie can do very easily, if at all.


Photo: © Variety – The Children’s Charity
[used with permission]

In a lot of ways, Mackenzie is much like her twin brother Dawson. Though from a young age, it was very apparent to their parents that something about Mackenzie was different – something that had her parents quite worried. Her father Shawn recalls: “We were in panic mode. Our brains were going a million miles a second trying to figure out what we could do to protect her.

Born without a particular gene, exposure to sunlight caused a lot of pain for Mackenzie. Her rare genetic condition means that everything from sunlight to UV-emitting household light bulbs cause a severe allergic reaction on Mackenzie’s skin. The slightest exposure causes her skin to burn and blister, forming red rashes.

A simple blood test confirmed Mackenzie’s condition and, with the help of Variety, she’s been able to resume childhood as it should be. Protective clothing manufactured in Australia and shielded windows on her home means that Mackenzie is safe. Mackenzie is one of 13 kids around BC participating in this year’s Coin Drive – along with the help of her twin brother Dawson. Her goal for 2012 is to raise $1,000! If you can support Mackenzie and her brother in helping other kids around our Province and across Vancouver Island, please visit Mackenzie’s personal fundraising page.

Proceeds from the 2012 Kids’ Coin Drive will go towards helping children who have special needs and their families with grants for things like emergency transportation costs to out-of-community hospitals, expensive medications, mobility and communication devices, and therapeutic programs to give them the same chances in life as other children.

If you, your family or your business would like to support the Coin Drive between now and October 31st, please visit the Kids’ Coin Drive website today. Cash donations are also being accepted at all IGA, Marketplace IGA and Bank of Montreal locations.

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