Mackenzie Greer began by working as a volunteer counselor at the American Cancer Society’s pediatric cancer weekend Camp Reach for the Stars, as a logistical supporter for the annual gala and a leader for the quarterly Day At The Ranch pediatric cancer day camp. In 2011 she formed an American Cancer Society Youth Club at Oak Park High School and recruited dozens of teens to support teens with cancer. While visiting Ventura County Medical Center Pediatric Oncology Department with an American Cancer Society representative, she noticed a need and formed her own project called, “Fashion with Compassion.”
Greer noted that there were multiple services available for children with cancer but there was virtually nothing that addressed the unique needs of adolescents and older teens going through cancer treatment. Teens who had lost their hair, who suffered compromised bodies and whose families were struggling to meet the medical costs of these treatment had few, if any, resources to purchase new and stylish clothing, clothing that would help them fit in as these teens tried to return to school.
Reaching out to several well-known clothing manufacturers, Greer wrote letters outlining the need and requested donations of beanies, hats, backpacks and outerwear. She included a donation form and asked that any donations be sent to the Ventura office of the American Cancer Society.
Much to her surprise, shipments totaling more than $25,000 have been received to date of name brand clothing suited to the teen market. The generous donations from Greer’s project have been shared with not only VCMC, but cancer centers in Santa Barbara and Oxnard, and some items will be given to patients attending the pediatric cancer camps. An additional 11 oncology hospitals across the country have been reached and more than 800 patients have received donations.