Makenna Rodolph

December 2016

Eight-year-old Makenna Rodolph first attempted rock climbing as a Girl Scouts bravery activity. Makenna faced down the rock climbing wall – and now takes on leukemia with indomitable courage.

The Frisco third grader enjoyed rock climbing so much she took it up as a sport and never let go – literally.

“She’s one of those kids that will not let go. She will not give up,” Makenna’s climbing coach, Kim Puccio, said in May. “She would get on a wall, and she would not let go. She’s a fighter. She’s a tiny, little fighter.”

That fighting spirit was on display one day recently at the rock climbing gym where Makenna scaled the walls with ease and stuck, with an undaunted tenacity, to the toughest walls where little notches to grab onto quickly become scarce and limbs had to be stretched to their greatest extreme to grab the next toehold.

“It’s just fun,” Makenna said simply. She was too shy to say much more, but her actions spoke loudly. Her courage in the Frisco rock-climbing gym mirror her attitude in taking on leukemia.

In June, she was hospitalized for five days of chemotherapy and had to stay an additional five more days because she had a fever. But she enjoyed music therapy while she was hospitalized and when the fever cleared, other signs showed she was bouncing back strong. Doctors gave her the green light to return to her normal activities, and she got back at the climbing gym as soon as she could.

This time she was helping her younger sister strap on a climbing harness and learn how to climb.


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