ROCKLIN — McKinna Macias, 16, is a talented tennis player, but she’s proving her passion is more than skin deep.
As a junior at Whitney High School, McKinna is organizing a charity tennis tournament.
“It’s going to be a doubles format. Anyone can play. Very social event. There’s going to be food,” McKinna explained.
Her goal — to raise $1,000 for the Skin Cancer Foundation.
“Skin cancer is by far the most preventable because, you know, [you can apply] sun block every day,” McKinna said.
But it’s a cause that hits especially close to home for the young athlete.
When she was in first grade, McKinna was diagnosed with vitiligo.
“It is a skin condition. It causes depigmentation in your skin. So it basically makes your skin completely white and that white skin is super susceptible to skin cancer,” she explained.
McKinna has had to be very diligent about applying sunscreen her whole life.
But it wasn’t until earlier this year that she decided to combine her passion for tennis with her knowledge of skin conditions.
“It’s kind of like peanut butter and jelly because she has this very rare skin condition and she’s also a very good tennis player, so she combined those two things to create a charity event,” said McKinna’s dad, Chris Macias.
Her dad tells us her drive on the tennis court reflects her drive in life.
“She’s a very tough little girl too,” Macias said.
McKinna hopes the charity tennis tournament on April 21 will become an annual tradition at Whitney High School.
But, more importantly, she hopes it will make a difference in someone’s life.
“I hope that it’s going to spread awareness to everyone because I know that kids, when they go outside, they don’t think of sunscreen as the first thing, they just like, ‘oh I want to get a good tan,’ but they really should be thinking about it,” McKinna said. “It’d be like an awesome thing if I could prevent one person from getting skin cancer. That’d be like, my biggest goal.”
If you want to participate in Sets Against Skin Cancer, you can enter the tournament at WhitneyWildcats.org.
The deadline to register is Sunday, April 15 — but you can also make donations at that website through next week.
McKinna tells FOX40 she needs about $250 to reach her goal.
Sets Against Skin Cancer
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$20 to play
Enter or donate at WhitneyWildcats.org
Participants will receive lunch and goodie bags.