Cancer not only took the life of Rea and Mike Bassett’s 8-year-old daughter, Mikayla, on Jan. 26, it drained all of the Bassett family’s finances as well. But, the one thing it didn’t take away was the support and love Bothell’s Northshore community has showered on the Crystal Springs Elementary student’s family.
When word got out in early January that the Bassett family needed financial help, Crystal Springs staff, Northshore families, and businesses sprung into action. Mikayla’s Journey Community Rummage Sale fundraiser will be held in the Crystal Springs Elementary gym on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All proceeds will benefit the Bassett family’s efforts to get back into a home of their own and rebuild their lives. The family had lived in the Ronald McDonald House since last August, but they have since moved in temporarily with a family member in north Seattle until they can afford a place to live in Bothell where their older children attend school.
Mikayla had battled acute myeloid leukemia (AML) since July 2009 before finally succumbing to the disease at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.
Fighting Mikayla’s cancer took not only an emotional but financial toll on the Bassett family. They came from Missouri in August 2010 with just $500 dollars left to live with family after going through bankruptcy from Mikayla’s first bout with AML and a bone marrow transplant from her baby brother, Malachi.
They had been told if the cancer came back, they would not receive treatment. So they headed to Seattle to be closer to Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Mikayla spent all of second grade in Ms. Jane Weiss’ classroom before the cancer returned last June. “Mikayla was the most spunky, energetic, smart, and enthusiastic student. She had never spent a whole year in a classroom until second grade, and she loved every minute. We rarely even thought or knew about her leukemia, until it came back in June,“ Ms. Weiss said.
At Mikayla’s memorial service last week, Ms. Weiss shared what she called “Mikayla’s Rules.” “She taught us to never give up; love – a lot, and be a great friend; don’t waste your brain (or your heart or your life) – try new things, try HARD things, and don’t be scared - have fun; and don’t be sad!” Weiss said, among many other lessons, too, the student taught the teacher.
Mikayla leaves behind her parents, three siblings: Malachi, 4; Darian, a student at Skyview Junior High; and Damien, a Bothell High sophomore; plus extended family and her classmates at Crystal Springs Elementary School.
The Bassetts are thankful for the “villages of support” that have been with them throughout Mikayla’s journey. “Mikayla was a beautiful girl. She taught us all to be strong, be happy, and not to be afraid!” said her mom, Rea.
The rummage sale fundraiser will feature household items donated by the community as well as several local businesses that are donating part or all of their proceeds from their sales that day to the Bassett family.
People interested in donating household items for the sale, can bring them to the Crystal Springs Elementary gym on Friday, Feb. 15 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The school is located at 21615 – 9th Avenue SE, Bothell.
Those wishing to make a donation to the family may send a check, made payable to Bassett Family Fund, and send it to: Bassett Family Fund, c/o Jane Weiss, Crystal Springs Elementary, 21615 9th Ave. SE, Bothell, WA 98021.