McKenna Schummer, an 11-year-old cancer patient who inspired Michigan State's Miles Bridges, has passed away.
The Grand Blanc resident died Tuesday night at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, about two years after she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Bridges has dedicated this season to McKenna. In July, Bridges and men's basketball coach Tom Izzo attended a party for McKenna that drew over 1,000 people, said Kelly Glynn, a friend and neighbor of the Schummer family.
McKenna Schummer, right, passed away March 6 after a two-year fight with bone cancer. The 11-year-old was a hardcore MSU fan who drank green Gatorade while watching games. Miles Bridges dedicates this season to her. (Photo: Courtesy photo)
"For some reason she just had this connection with Miles," Glynn said. "I don't know what it was."
Glynn said McKenna's party last summer took place in her Grand Blanc neighborhood's cul-de-sac, included about $1,500 worth of fireworks and "made her feel like a superstar."
Bridges, a Flint native, posted the following message on his Instagram account after he was informed of McKenna's death:
"R.I.P McKenna. You’ve inspired me since I’ve met you, and I promised you that we would dedicate this season to you!! You will never be forgotten."
Glynn said Izzo spoke Wednesday morning with Melissa Schummer, McKenna's mother.
"She was a MSU fan through and through," Glynn said of McKenna.
McKenna was admitted to the Detroit hospital about four weeks ago with pneumonia and flu-like symptoms and, up until her death, was a hardcore fan of the Spartans, Glynn said.
In fact, McKenna was so in love with MSU that she and her friends would wear green bandannas and drink green Gatorade while watching game on TV.
"She went on with life," said Kelly Glynn, when asked how McKenna handled her health challenges. "She didn't talk about them openly. None of us ever saw her scared."
McKenna loved to put on makeup and made such an impact at Children's Hospital of Michigan with her positive attitude that the hospital intends to create a room there called McKenna's Beauty Bar, Glynn said.
It's purpose, Glynn said, will be to lift patients' spirits.
McKenna is survived by her parents, Todd and Melissa Schummer, sister Hannah, 10, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A gofundme page has been set up to support the family and the hospital's beauty bar project. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/mckennassquad.
Donations in McKenna's name also can be made to the hospital.
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Eric Lacy is a reporter for the Lansing State Journal. Contact Eric Lacy at 517-377-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EricLacy.
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