It’s not easy to get a bad medical diagnosis, especially for a child. But one teen is on a mission to make things a little smoother for young patients, after being inspired to act by the loss of a loved one.
Makayla Kinard, an adolescent Girl Scout from Colorado, knows how hard diabetes can be. Her aunt suffered from the condition, and died of diabetes-related complications five years ago at the young age of 26.
After losing her family member, Makayla made it her mission to return to CU Anshutz, the world-renowned diabetes center where her aunt received treatments, with a special surprise in hand.
Her plan: to make special care packages for children diagnosed with diabetes.
Over the past few years, Makayla has been working to fill 60 bags for the young patients, sorted by age and gender, with items both fun and practical.
“Coloring book, I got them some Band-Aids, alcohol prep swabs, crayons for the coloring book,” Makayla told CBS Denver as she filled one of the drawstring bags.
“We figured this bag could be put to use multiple ways.”
Makayla knew from experience what kind of items the kids might need, and how much the gifts might mean to them as they come to terms with the condition.
“Since my aunt was diabetic, I kind of saw the things that she used,” she said.
“Even though they’re going through this hard time, it’s not going to be as difficult as they think it is.”
In July, Makayla finally finished compiling the care packages and delivered them to the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes on the CU Anshutz campus, where she was greeted as a very welcome surprise.
“I think knowing that someone cared enough to spend the time and effort to collect that and put these things together, I think that means a great deal to families and I appreciate the effort that’s gone into that,” one woman said.
The project is also part of Makayla’s requirements to earn her Silver Award from the Girl Scouts, but it’s clear that this was a very personal cause for the teen, who from experience saw an opportunity to make life a little brighter for people who need it the most.