7 yr old beats brain cancer, gives back to other sick kids

A remarkable seven year old has beat the odds, fought off brain cancer and even had her wish come true. Nearly three years ago Maci Fontenot went for a routine eye sight screening. A few days later she was rushed to the hospital after doctors discovered something was wrong with her left eye.

"They found that she had a tumor behind her left eye the size of her eye ball. At that moment you know life stopped. Everything stopped…We just decided that as a family we were going to hit this head on victoriously. We didn't want to lose her," described Nikki Fontenot, Maci's mother.

"It was really scary...really scary," said Maci Fontenot.

She had a malignant tumor growing slowly only four millimeters from her brain.

"It could've killed her. At the time we were fighting for her life. Then it was like we were fight for the quality of her life," explained Nikki Fontenot.

Doctors cracked open Maci's skull and removed the tumor. After seven hours of surgery and more than 40 stitches, she was tumor-free, but with a long road to recovery. When she recovered the energy to walk, Maci would don a princess dress and hand out snacks at the hospital. As a sign of solidarity her family all cut their hair short to match Maci's hair during chemotherapy treatments.

"We just decided to wear crazy wigs and have concerts in our house," said Nikki Fontenot.

The Make A Wish Foundation that serves terminally and life-threateningly ill children, offered to grant Maci any wish. She picked a visit with teen heart-throbs the Jonas Brothers. Now the experience motivates her to make a difference in the lives of other sick children.

"Now there's a reason for her story. She's very in tune to other people's hurt and I think that's one of the things I love about what she's learned," said Nikki Fontenot.

After surgery Maci lost all vision in her left eye, but can see well out of her right. That does not seem to slow her down though. She's helped plan a fundraiser called Maci's Make a Wish and Make A Difference Festival Fundraiser. The event is Saturday, June 11, 2011 at the Lake Charles Civic Center beginning at 10am until 2pm. For a $10 donation to the Make A Wish Foundation children and parents can enjoy live music, an obstacle course, bounce houses, karaoke, a talent show, food and more. If you cannot attend but want to donate call 337-802-7932.

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