Pottstown family raises more than $250K to help children fight cancer

Makenna Massi, 14, was a budding musician who loved the Eagles and was a huge foodie.
POTTSTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- After the death of one of their own, a Pottstown family is trying to make life easier for other families facing the trials of cancer treatment.

Makenna Massi, 14, was a budding musician who loved the Eagles and was a huge foodie.

"She was not just a chicken finger, just a french fry kid or mac and cheese -- she loved steak and scallops and mashed potatoes," said her father, Rich Massi.
She was also a black belt in karate. It should be no surprise she was such a tough fighter.

"That kid fought, never complained. We used to have to coach her to tell the doctors how she was actually feeling sometimes," said Rich.

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A Bensalem family opened their home and shared their love with a boy who needed a sense of stability. Tuesday marked a day he's been waiting for his entire life.

Makenna was diagnosed with cancer when she was 9. Her family fought with her for four years.

"Like these necklaces I wear, this was hers. It has a 'M' on it and then she's actually wearing one with a 'K' on it," said Makenna's sister, Kayla.

Makenna passed away in 2018 at the age of 14. Out of their grief, her family turned to action by starting the "Fight on Makenna Foundation."

They've raised more than $250,000 that has helped start fitness and distance learning programs for patients, parking assistance at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and hotel funds.

"We thought there was something missing around how do you help families just deal with the rigors of being in a long inpatient treatment plan," said Rich.

Their biggest fundraiser is a yearly cook-off in September called "Bite 4 the Fight," in honor of their favorite foodie.

"Everything that I do with the foundation and the festival we hold has to be perfect because that's the way I view her -- she was perfect," said Rich.

Apart from the work of the foundation and all the money raised, the Massi family are also doing random acts of kindness in Makenna's name and handing out cards with Makenna's face and story on them. Her family says it's an extra little something to keep her legacy alive.
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