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Teen with terminal illness graduates high school

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

NORMAL, Ill., USA — Makenzie Hardesty has a rare terminal illness and has beaten the odds. She will be graduating high school on May 25, 2019.

Hardesty has MPS VI (Type 6) - only one in 600,000 newborns are diagnosed with the disorder.

“Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 6 is a lysosomal-storage disorder. As like with our bodies, we can break down sugar, protein and things like that,” Hardesty’s mother Andrea said.

The disorder causes skeletal abnormalities like a short stature, large tongue and joint deformities. Hardesty has been going to the hospital once a week for up to six hours for the last 13 years.

“We show up to the hospital and get her checked in, get her orders sent in, the nurses assess her and start saline fluids, then wait for the medicine to come, which is run over four hours on an IV through a mediport,” Andrea said.

But Hardesty wasn’t going to let doctor’s appointments slow her down.

“I got all these appointments, so give me my work and I’ll get it done,” Hardesty said. “I just sit there, do my homework on my laptop and talk to nurses and doctors.”

Makenzie graduates on May 25th from Normal Community West High School and plans to major in photography in college.

“I'm very proud of her,” Andrea said. “No matter what surgery she's had, no matter what she's been through, she did it with A's and B's and no missed assignments.

Hardesty said she’ll never let her terminal illness come in the way of accomplishing her dreams.

“I'm like, ‘Hey, I just did it,’" Hardesty said. “I have other days to succeed, so don't give up.”

Author: Katie Bandish
Source: foxillinois
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