Makenna Lee David was born on April 4, 1997, to Sheila and Greg David in Lexington, Kentucky. Makenna was a wonderful child, full of life, love and energy. She enjoyed playing with her sister and brother, Kelli and Dayne, and brought joy to everyone.
In December 1997, at 8 months old, Makenna suffered a series of strokes and spent several weeks in the hospital. Medical experts from around the country informed the David family that their precious baby would likely not survive and if she did, she would never be able to care for herself. However, Makenna proved them wrong and made a recovery. She was back home with her family the Saturday before Christmas.
In August 1998, Makenna began experiencing breathing difficulties. In early November in search of a diagnosis, Makenna and her parents traveled to Houston. While she was a patient at Texas Children’s Hospital, Makenna visited a three-dimensional wall that proved to be a welcome distraction for her and the other young patients. Makenna found the wall’s brightly colored tiles captivating and fell in love with them.
After returning home in late November, Makenna was diagnosed with pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, a rare lung disorder. At the time of her diagnosis there had only been 125 similar cases and all had been fatal. On December 4, 1998, Makenna died—four months shy of her second birthday.
Although they were devastated at her loss, Sheila and Greg David remembered Makenna’s love for the tile wall in Texas. They wanted to build a similar wall of color and happiness in Kentucky, in Makenna’s memory. With the help of friends, they established the Makenna Foundation. In September 2001, Janice Mueller, owner of RE/MAX Creative Realty, presented Sheila and Greg David with corporation papers for the new foundation.
The Davids’ dream of creating Makenna’s Wall became a reality when it was unveiled on August 1, 2003, at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. This vibrant piece of artwork is a huge mural of cheerful tiles, painted by local school children.
The Makenna Foundation has continued to grow and give to this wonderful hospital. A pediatric bronchoscope was purchased in 2003, and in 2004 funds from the Foundation helped to renovate the Children’s Sedation Suite. In 2006, the Junior League of Lexington renovated the Toddler Room in honor of the Makenna Foundation. The Makenna David Pediatric Emergency Center opened in 2010.
Later this summer, Kentucky Children’s Hospital will unveil the first of many, exciting renovation projects, “The Makenna Foundation Welcome Center.” It is through the continued generosity of our supporters that this project was initiated.
The new space will offer large, nature-inspired murals and an array of vibrant colors (from the tiles on the floor to the paint on the walls), a more spacious waiting area with additional seating, and a fun-for-all-ages play area complete with an interactive video wall.
The Makenna Foundation supports Kentucky Children’s Hospital in several different ways. In addition to major purchases and expansion for the hospital, we provide simple people-to-people support too.
Members of the Makenna Foundation board of directors and our Friends of the Foundation visit children at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
We have facilitated Halloween parties and Christmas parties for the kids. From time to time we just stop in to say hello. Spending time and sharing smiles with these children and their families are as important as everything else we’ve done, in keeping with the Makenna Foundation’s mission to provide hope, joy and courage to the children and families who are served by the caring professionals of Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
2003: On August 1, Makenna’s Wall was unveiled at the children’s hospital at UK (renamed in 2005 to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital). This vibrant piece of artwork is a huge mural of cheerful tiles, painted by local schoolchildren.
2003: The Makenna Foundation was able to donate a pediatric bronchoscope for the hospital.
2004: Funds from the Makenna Foundation helped with renovations in the children’s sedation suite.
2006: The Junior League of Lexington renovated the toddler room, in honor of the Makenna Foundation.
2010: On July 14 the Makenna David Pediatric Emergency Center opened.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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