MILWAUKEE — The MACC Fund helps families fighting childhood cancer year round, so TMJ4 wants to make sure it supports the MACC Fund during the holidays.
One of the best ways to do that is to buy a MACC Star Ornament. This year’s ornament was designed by Mailee Francis, who is not letting a cancer diagnosis dim her smile.
Mailee’s dad Cheshane says she’s a fighter.
“Not as energetic, but very smart by the mouth. She’s very witty. She tries to do any and everything she can and she’s an awesome big sister,” he says.
Last June, Mailee was diagnosed with T-1 lymphoma.
“It kind of came out of nowhere,” says her mom, Catrina.
Catrina says Mailee was practicing for a 5K when she developed a harsh cough.
“One night things just kind of came to a head with her cough, and that’s when we found out she had a golf-ball-sized mass in her chest,” Catrina recalls. “I don’t know what I’d do without Children’s Hospital or the people at the MACC Center.”
The Francis family says MACC staff made them feel comfortable, and that Mailee was in safe hands.
“I just remember hitting the floor, on my knees, just crying, like, ‘oh my God, it’s cancer. What am I going to do?’” says Catrina. “One of the ER nurses came up to me and she literally said, ‘don’t worry about anything. We have it from here.’”
Catrina says anytime she has questions, answers are close by. Mailee has also been able to participate in some clinical trials.
“They’re kind of helping us stay ahead of the game,” says Cheshane.
But Cheshane says it’s more than just physical care. “They’ve been excellent. They got to know her very well. She got to know them very well," said Cheshane.
And now Mailee is giving back to the people who have helped her family so much. Her ornament is on sale and the proceeds benefit the MACC Fund.
Cheshane says Mailee has a giving heart.
“She started her own business of baking breads and she goes up to the MACC fund and drops off a lot of bread,” he says. “She’s a hit up there!”
If you’d like to purchase a MACC Star Ornament, they’re available for sale at Sendik’s and Spargo Salon and Spa. You can also visit https://maccfund.org/tmj4-macc-star/