"Jump on board!" That's the advice Mackenzie's mum would give to anyone thinking about joining Livewire.

Mackenzie was just 10 when scans showed a brain condition known as an Arachnoid Cyst.

"We were in shock. Mackenzie had shown no symptoms before the diagnosis, so it came completely out of the blue," Mum Courtney said.

As the family came to terms with Mackenzie's condition and the reality of regular hospital visits, they discovered Livewire.

The program is specifically for young people like Mackenzie who are living with a serious illness or chronic health condition.

Her mum said the support from the Livewire on-line community has been invaluable.

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Livewire has given Mackenzie an opportunity to connect with others in the same age group that have their own issues they're dealing with. She can discuss any issues she's having or just chill out in a comfortable 'zone'.
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Courtney, Mackenzie's mum

Mackenzie is known for her caring nature and is the first to help out others in need. She enjoys volunteering in her local community, is intelligent, determined and stands up for what she believes in.

Courtney said thanks to Livewire, Mackenzie has a greater awareness about other medical conditions and can educate others.

"She's much more accepting that there is no such thing as 'normal' – everyone has their own individual quirks, some of which we can see, some of which we can't," she said.

Mackenzie has made so many friends in the Livewire community and she said it's helped her realise she's not alone.

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My favourite thing about Livewire is the acceptance and care everyone, including the chat hosts, show myself and others. Livewire is a space where I can just be me.
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"I know there is always somebody looking out for me." 

She was excited to be able to finally meet up with her Livewire friends at the recent Virgin Australia Starlight 30-year celebration.

"I was lucky enough to meet three amazing teens from Livewire. They were all so full of life, kind and treated each other and me like we were all just ordinary, everyday, people." 

Courtney said the family is grateful to Starlight supporters for helping teens like Mackenzie.

"Any assistance you can provide will not be wasted. Your support goes a long way to keeping their spark alive – they are only children for a small amount of time, let’s make it as special as we can."

Stories like these are only made possible thanks to our generous supporters. If you'd like to help make a difference for a child, you can donate below.
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