Meet Grant Recipient Mackenzie Martell

This very special blog post is told from the perspective of Amber’s Antibodies Grant Program recipient Mackenzie Martell. Here is her story.

“Hi, my name is Mackenzie Martell. At 8 years old, I was diagnosed with a paraspinal tumor called ganglioneuroblastoma. I was Stage 2A.

This is a very rare tumor. About one in a million children are diagnosed with this rare condition.

In February 2016, I relapsed with it again. Through testing at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, we found out the tumor had wrapped itself around the nerves that go to my hip and groin area.

I live in chronic pain daily and some days I barely get out of bed. I am under the care of pain management and go once every eight weeks, and once every three months for nerve root injection into my spine to help with the pain.

My family and I are so thankful for this amazing organization (Amber’s Antibodies). Without it, we would be so behind on our bills. I’d see my mom stress daily about how she was going to pay the rent and car, and missing time at work to take care of me. She is a single mom to my brother and I and works very hard to make sure we are both taken care of.

Thank you to each and every member of this community and organization for helping my family get back on our feet and not have to worry about losing our home.

I have learned so much on this journey, including that there is always something to be thankful for.”

Mackenzie recovering after a 12-hour surgery at age 8.

Mackenzie recovering after a 12-hour surgery at age 8.

To help families like the Martells who are experiencing cancer, donate to Amber’s Antibodies here. Our 100 percent volunteer-based organization operates with no overhead, allowing us to dedicate over 99 percent of our donations to Southwest Florida families and cancer research.