HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A 16-year-old Harlingen girl is Paying it 4ward by taking stitching with love to the next level.

Makena Silva has always been involved in her community, joining her girl scouts’ troop when she was in just kindergarten. 

After her grandmother passed away from cancer, Makena knew she wanted to give back to cancer patients who are battling.

She decided to take her knowledge of sewing and make over 200 caps where she distributed to cancer centers across Texas for patients. 

“Every day from the moment she woke up, to the moment she went to bed, she was sewing,” remembers Jennifer Silva, Makana’s mom. “She worked the whole month of June with students at Bonham Elementary and she worked nights sewing her contributions…so she worked the entire month of June and July.” 

Makena even taught young students how to sew and together they were able to donate hundreds more to cancer centers. 

“I would teach this group of children during the ACE program and would teach them how to sew basic stiches, we made pillows, caps, etc.” said Makana Silva who attends South Texas ISD Science Academy, also known as “SciTech” in Mercedes. 

The entire time she sewed, her mom, Jennifer stayed by her side. 

“There’s a tv show called Gilmore Girls and I would say me and my mom are like Lorelai and Rory. We do everything together, I see her like my best friend. We’re so close,” said Makena. 

One day, Makena received terrible news all over again.

“I noticed I had some issues; I went to my primary care doctor, we did some mammograms they came out with suspicious results,” said Jennifer Silva, “I went to MD Anderson and it turns out I have inflammatory breast cancer.” 

Somehow, cancer once again became a part of Makena’s life. 

“Right at the two-week mark, large pieces of hair started to come out and Makena and I were on the back patio and I said just shave it,” said Jennifer, “Makena got the clippers and she shaved my head and I started wearing her “Wrapped In Love” hair wraps ever since.” 

Throughout the months of chemo and radiation, never once did Makena’s faith waive. 

“Her reaction was mom, we got this, she’s so positive, I call her my chemo-cheerleader, she’s been at my side for every single appointment…she’s been my motivation. she keeps me going, she’s amazing,” said Jennifer. 

Makana knows regardless of what the future holds, she will stay strong and hold on to her faith.  

“I know I need to stay strong and I believe things are going to work out,” said Makena, “If you put good into the world, it should come back to you and I just keep believing that’s going to happen.” 

The next step for Jennifer’s treatment is surgery in March, then daily radiation treatments in April and May.

Makena plans to continue sewing caps for all cancer patients and do a large drop off this summer where they’re needed.