Heart of Detroit: McKenna's Squad Beauty Bar
A makeover can make people feel a little better about themselves, and it was that idea that inspired a little girl to want to do makeovers at a special place. Mckenna Rae Schummer loved makeup, and it was her passion always to look her best. Which inspired something special at the Children's Hospital of Michigan. Mitch Albom shows us how her legacy lives on in the heart of Detroit.
McKenna was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer when she was nine, that eventually took her life. During her treatment at Children's Hospital of Michigan, she discovered her passion for makeup. She would do her own makeup in the hospital, then the nurses would bring their makeup in, and she would do theirs.
Her hospital room quickly turned into a salon. Then, thanks to a financial donation from a family friend, McKenna created something amazing: A beauty bar at the hospital for all the children to enjoy. McKenna passed away before seeing her beauty bar complete, but her vision lives on. Nurses and volunteers are her beauty squad, helping patients feel beautiful. If a patient is too sick to make it to the beauty bar, a beauty box travels to them.
"I tell our employees every day that if you are having a bad day just go step into Mckenna's Squad Beauty Bar and see the smiles that it brings to the kids who aren't feeling well," said Luanne Ewald, the CEO of Children's Hospital of Michigan. "We see the beauty gives them courage, strength and the determination to get better."
"I know that she is smiling down right now and it is exactly everything that she wanted," said Melissa Schummer, McKenna's mom.
They are looking to expand McKenna's Squad Beauty Bar to other hospitals.