Seeing a young child taken down, literally and figuratively, by any illness is tough to witness.  Seeing that young child battle an illness that could be life or death is even scarier.  Luckily, we've got some good news from #TeamKenzie.

Kenzi gets in some well-deserved rest following another round of treatment. Photo courtesy Amber Motl Facebook

We interviewed Kenzi and her mom, Amber, a friend of mine, during our Children's Miracle Network Radiothon.  Seeing Kenzie go through a battle for her life is heartbreaking, but through it all she seemed to be the one reassuring all us grownups through her smile and desire to continue living life.  Right up until the time she checked into a Houston hospital for a bone marrow transplant, she continued to live life with friends and relatives like she always has.

Kenzie was fortunate a bone marrow match was found, and after an initial stay in the hospital for tests confirming the match, it was time for the battle to begin.  Facebook has opened the floodgates of information, and for many friends of Amber and her family we followed along day by day.  There were ups and downs along the way, but one constant was a little girl that knew she had a lot of life left to experience despite a tough road ahead.

Is that Darth Vader? No, that's a girl a lot tougher than the fictional bad guy. Photo courtesy Amber Motl Facebook.

Facebook showed us a girl that wouldn't let the battle hold her back.  She did what girls do.  She made friends.  She spent time on the iPad.  She made herself up and looked adorable in every picture despite the intimidating machinery surrounding her, sometimes eclipsing her from view entirely due to their massive size.

Following a successful transplant, Kenzie spent the next 26 days in the hospital, battling nausea and waiting to see if her body would accept the transplant.  Kenzie got the good news late Tuesday night that December 3rd would be a day she'd always remember as she was given a thumbs-up for discharge.  Her white blood cell count exceeded the minimum number for three consecutive days, signifying her body was able to fight infection.

Amber, Kenzie's mom, said the fight is far from over, saying, "We will remain down here in Houston near the hospital until the end of February when we reach day 100. Until then we will stay somewhat secluded, away from large crowds and basically public places. We will have weekly follow up visits which will be 3 days a week to make sure that she continues to do well".

Don't let the smile fool you. If you're a disease trying to survive here you're in for a losing battle. Photo courtesy Amber Motl Facebook.

Despite the successful transplant, the fight isn't over.  Amber shared that next week is a big week, saying, "They will do another bone marrow biopsy here in the next week to determine if all traces of leukemic cells are gone. They were before the transplant so they should still be".

Seeing Kenzie hooked up to all the machines is intimidating just to see in a picture, let alone being a young lady hooked up to those machines via multiple cords.  Constantly being injected with medicines that have a tendency to ravage even a healthy adult's body has taken its toll.

After battling nausea throughout the entire process, Amber says the reliance on medication is still high due to continued risk of infection.  "Even a little low grade temp of 100.5 would send us to the hospital so we have to be very careful. She can't have any fast food/restaurant food/fresh vegetables or fresh fruits.

That's the smile of a young lady that's been given the all-clear to discharge from the hospital. Photo courtesy Amber Motl Facebook.

"She won't be able to return to school until sometime next school year because she'll need immunizations all over again. No more chemo but lots of different medicines for nausea, anti-rejection meds because she could still reject the new cells at any time."

There's still a long haul ahead for the Motl family, but thanks to Kenzie's strength, the doctors' wisdom and a lot of prayer from #TeamKenzie, she's much closer to a clean bill of health today than she was just a few months ago.