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

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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.

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