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The "Coins for Kenzie" and "Hats On For Kenzie" campaigns, spearheaded by local teen Megan Moore to raise money for 8-year-old McKenzie Barbre have netted a nice chunk of change. Barbre has had two bouts with eye cancer.
Moore presented a check for $1,531 to Barbre's family Tuesday after just a little over a month of fundraising efforts. McKenzie's family will use the money to pay for medical bills.
Moore, a senior at Blackfoot High School, tutored McKenzie in her third grade class at Stoddard Elementary School and was inspired by her positive attitude in spite of facing cancer at such a young age.
McKenzie's mother, Brandie Thompson, said, "She was diagnosed with cancer around the muscle of her eye when she was in kindergarten. At that time, she had surgery putting the cancer in remission, only to have it return 10 months later. She recently went through another surgery and we are praying that the cancer doesn't return."
Moore set out "Coins for Kenzie" cash boxes at businesses around town including Downtown Bread, Rupe's Burgers, Gold's Gym and Blackfoot Chevron, while with the help of Barbre's teacher, Tammi Dayley, coins were also collected at Stoddard Elementary School.
Moore also sold hats at Blackfoot High School and the students wore them in support of the "Hats On For Kenzie" campaign.
"McKenzie has truly touched my heart and has taught me the greatest lesson that 'no matter how bad a situation may be, all you need is positivity and nothing can bring you down,' " Moore said. "I know her family is having a rough time with all the medical bills and I wanted to do something to help."
McKenzie's father, Mike Thompson, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the family, saying, "Thank you so much to all who participated in the fundraisers and to everyone who donated. Thank you so much."