Teen with terminal cancer planning the summer of a lifetime - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Teen with terminal cancer planning the summer of a lifetime

Posted: Updated:
McKenzie had been diagnosed with an extremely aggressive and rare form of cancer. McKenzie had been diagnosed with an extremely aggressive and rare form of cancer.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

15-year-old McKenzie Huisman loves The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and everything science fiction or fantasy.

But by far, her favorite story is the one about a galaxy far far away, Star Wars.

“I like Han Solo,” McKenzie said while sitting on the couch in her Star Wars figurine-filled living room.   

But the night McKenzie and her family went to the movie theater to watch the latest Star Wars film the Huisman’s received devastating news.

McKenzie had been diagnosed with an extremely aggressive and rare form of cancer.

After attempting several treatments and tests, doctors determined there was ntohing they could do for McKenzie.

“They said there's not a lot of options for this cancer because it's so rare,” said McKenzie’s mother, Liz. “They said you guys need to live it up this summer while she's healthy and do what she wants to do.”

Much like the adventurers and journeyers in the movies and books McKenzie loves, the 15-year-old decided she wanted to spend her summer exploring as many national parks as possible.

"I don't want them to think this is the worst summer ever," said McKenzie. "I want them to be like oh yeah that was really fun and we got to go on vacation three times."

But medical costs have added up, and the Huisman’s can’t afford the two-week long vacation. Good thing they’re not alone.

Since McKenzie’s story has spread, friends, family, and complete strangers have started chipping in to raise money for the costs to visit the parks and rent an RV.

McKenzie’s summer of a lifetime started last week with a trip to Glacier National Park. Even a helicopter pilot with a tour company heard about McKenzie’s story and took her for the ride of her life.

The family plans to visit several national parks later in July; they say it wouldn’t be possible without the overwhelming support.

If you would like to support McKenzie's bucket list, click here.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 39-year-old Spokane Valley man arrested for sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl

    39-year-old Spokane Valley man arrested for sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 2:20 PM EDT2018-10-16 18:20:11 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested a 39-year-old man for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.  Last month, detectives received information from the Post Falls Police Department naming Jeffrey A. Christenot as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl in 2015-2016. The information stated Christenot confessed to the crimes in a video that had been posted to Facebook. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested a 39-year-old man for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.  Last month, detectives received information from the Post Falls Police Department naming Jeffrey A. Christenot as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl in 2015-2016. The information stated Christenot confessed to the crimes in a video that had been posted to Facebook. 

    >>
  • Pullman Police issue 'Attempt to Locate' for 'WSU Popcorn Guy'

    Pullman Police issue 'Attempt to Locate' for 'WSU Popcorn Guy'

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 1:48 PM EDT2018-10-16 17:48:10 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - It's a moment that proudly lives in WSU football history.  September 28, 2013.  WSU is losing to Stanford. The score isn't important, but let's just say it was a lot. Ok, fine. It was 41-3 early in the 4th quarter.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - It's a moment that proudly lives in WSU football history.  September 28, 2013.  WSU is losing to Stanford. The score isn't important, but let's just say it was a lot. Ok, fine. It was 41-3 early in the 4th quarter. The cameras of ESPN turned their attention to one lonely Coug fan in the 300 level.  There was one man. His feet were reclined, his arms were sprawled.

    >>
  • Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

    Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

    Monday, October 15 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-10-15 23:38:29 GMT

    BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A man who police say was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chain saw has had to have his leg amputated. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that a warrant for 76-year-old Douglas Ferguson couldn’t be served until Tuesday because of the severity of his injuries.

    >>

    BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A man who police say was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chain saw has had to have his leg amputated. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that a warrant for 76-year-old Douglas Ferguson couldn’t be served until Tuesday because of the severity of his injuries.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • ISP investigating fatal crash near Rathdrum

    ISP investigating fatal crash near Rathdrum

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:33 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:33:17 GMT

    RATHDRUM, Idaho - State Police troopers say one person is dead after a crash between a car and a BNSF truck near Rathdrum Tuesday afternoon. Troopers say a white Nissan pulled out in front of the BNSF truck and was hit head on on Highway 53 and Chase Road. The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

    >>

    RATHDRUM, Idaho - State Police troopers say one person is dead after a crash between a car and a BNSF truck near Rathdrum Tuesday afternoon. Troopers say a white Nissan pulled out in front of the BNSF truck and was hit head on on Highway 53 and Chase Road. The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

    >>
  • Mexican couple held in prison after being caught carrying human remains in baby carriage

    Mexican couple held in prison after being caught carrying human remains in baby carriage

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:18 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:18:20 GMT

    A Mexican man and his female companion have been ordered held in prison pending trial for the slaying of a woman, though the man has confessed to murdering at least nine more. The couple was caught earlier this month carrying dismembered human remains in a baby carriage. Authorities say they may have sold the women's bones to a religious cult. 

    >>

    A Mexican man and his female companion have been ordered held in prison pending trial for the slaying of a woman, though the man has confessed to murdering at least nine more. The couple was caught earlier this month carrying dismembered human remains in a baby carriage. Authorities say they may have sold the women's bones to a religious cult. 

    >>
  • State's Dem congressional candidates top GOP in fundraising

    State's Dem congressional candidates top GOP in fundraising

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:06 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:06:07 GMT
    Washington state's 39 counties are draining their budgets trying to keep their communities safe, and when they have to prosecute a big murder case some fear they'll end up bankrupt.Washington state's 39 counties are draining their budgets trying to keep their communities safe, and when they have to prosecute a big murder case some fear they'll end up bankrupt.

    SEATTLE (AP) - Democratic contenders in Washington's most competitive midterm congressional races have bested their Republican rivals in campaign fundraising over the past few months.

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Democratic contenders in Washington's most competitive midterm congressional races have bested their Republican rivals in campaign fundraising over the past few months.

    >>