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Bend teen defeats cancer, starts toy drive


December 3rd, 2008 — a day 16-year-old Kendra Hendrickson won’t soon forget.

“They diagnosed me with leukemia, which is a blood cancer. Basically your white blood cells aren’t working properly, and they’re just floating around clogging up stuff,” Hendrickson said Thursday.

For 2 1/2 years, Kendra went through hours of chemotherapy and exhausting blood transfusions at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland .

“I started losing all my hair, which, as you can see. is back now in great lengths,” she said.

And that’s something to celebrate.

The Bend High junior has now been cancer-free for three years.

To celebrate, Kendra wants to give back to the children still going through what she did.

So she’s starting a toy drive.

“Art supplies, things like that, it’s one of those things where they can take their mind off of what they’re going through,” Hendrickson said.

Kendra hopes the campaign inspires her fellow students to make a difference in a child’s life.

“There are kids in there worse off than I ever was and I want to bring them something, anything,” she said.

The box inside Bend High is empty for now — but soon, full of silver linings in a sick child’s battle of a lifetime.

“I want to come here at the end of the day, and I want to see that thing filled — and if I can see that, it’s going to be like the greatest moment of my life,” she said.

Kendra has a check-up at Doernbecher in June, which is when she’ll be delivering the toys.

If you want to donate, all toys must be new. You can drop them off at Bend High School at 230 NE 6th Street or email Meghan Hendrickson at

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