Mackenzie Bearup, Sheltering Books
16-year-old Mackenzie Bearup is one of hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy (RSD), a disease in which the brain continues to receive distress messages from nerves and blood vessels around an injury that has actually already healed. Suffering from RSD doesn’t just mean sore muscles or achy bones; in Mackenzie’s own words, her pain will “explode at random times [and] when something touches it, it's like I'm getting stabbed multiple times.”
Not only is there no cure for RSD, even Mackenzie’s pain-management doctor cannot prevent the flare-ups that keep the teenager bedridden for sometimes months at a time.
So this amazing Georgia teen had to find her own way to escape the pain: reading. But that’s only the beginning of her story; when Mackenzie learned a nearby residential center for severely abused children had just built a library but didn’t have books to fill it, she wanted to relieve some of the pain felt by those kids, too. She set a goal to collect 300 books, but her flyers, newspaper ads, and website brought in over 3,000!
Still, she didn’t stop there; Sheltering Books, the non-profit group Mackenzie founded to expand her work, has now donated almost 40,000 books to 27 different shelters in 6 states.
You can meet Mackenzie here:
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