“The Challenge” Star Rachel Robinson Rallies Support for Castmate Ayanna Mackins amid Her Breast Cancer Journey

Robinson launched a GoFundMe campaign for Mackins, who was diagnosed with metastatic invasive ductal carcinoma in October 2023

<p>JAMES DIMMOCK/PARAMOUNT;Rachel Robinson/Instagram</p> Ayanna Mackins; Rachel Robinson

JAMES DIMMOCK/PARAMOUNT;Rachel Robinson/Instagram

Ayanna Mackins; Rachel Robinson

The Challenge star Rachel Robinson is jumping in to support her castmate and friend Ayanna Mackins following her breast cancer diagnosis.

On Sunday, Robinson, 40, posted a pair of videos on her Instagram Story announcing that she has launched a GoFundMe campaign for Mackins, 45.

"I've taken it upon myself. I know Ayanna can use the help," she said in the first clip. "For those of you who do not know, Ayanna is a member of the MTV family. She is fighting cancer. She is a single mother of four."

She invited her followers to visit Mackins' GoFundMe page and make a contribution, noting that she kicked things off with a donation of her own.

<p>Paul Archuleta/Getty </p> Ayanna Mackins

Paul Archuleta/Getty

Ayanna Mackins

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In the second clip, Robinson shared that she was inspired to start the campaign because "it's Mitzvah Day" in Miami Beach, Florida, where she lives. Mitzvah Day is an event that encourages people to volunteer and help others in their community.

"So I thought it was a great opportunity to support a friend of mine, Ayanna, who is fighting cancer," Robinson explained, adding that she hopes the GoFundMe will "help ease the burden of just finances while she's trying to fight for her life."

In a message on the GoFundMe page, Mackins shared that she was diagnosed with metastatic invasive ductal carcinoma in October 2023 following a mammogram and subsequent biopsy. She also did genetic testing and learned that she is "a carrier of a Palb2 mutation on my BRCA gene," which she explained increases a person's breast and ovarian cancer risk.

"By the time I learned of my status, [the cancer] had metastasized to several lymph nodes; being a mom of four my life immediately shifted toward managing fighting this disease," Mackins wrote. "Testing, multiple biopsies, consultations all coincided with managing the lives of my children and adapting to chemo, sleepless nights, weakened immune system, and truly fighting the fight with my closest co-workers, extended family and friends."

Mackins — who appeared in MTV's Road Rules in 2005, The Challenge from 2001 to 2004 and The Challenge: All Stars in 2021 and 2022 — went on to detail some of the new challenges and mounting expenses she is facing amid her cancer treatment, which includes chemotherapy and an upcoming surgery followed by radiation.

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"Due to my slow reaction and response time, I am unable to drive safely at this time. We rely upon ride share and other services for appointments and leverage it daily to ensure safe travel to and from school and medical appointments. This is expensive, but necessary as it has impacted our finances," she wrote in her message.

"Any support received will go directly to covering basic housing expenses and caregiver costs while I am hospitalized," she continued, noting, "This is a marathon not a sprint, thank you for fighting the fight with us."

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Mackins has so far made only a few social media posts about her cancer diagnosis. In a lengthy Instagram message on New Year's Eve last year, she reflected on her own mother's death from breast cancer more than 20 years ago and how she is now facing the disease herself.

"I imagined I'd be different in the same situation. And here I am with the diagnosis... at the exact same age as she, in a similar position; triggered and trudging through the mud of it all," she wrote.

After expressing her appreciation for all the love and support she's received from friends and family, she shared that she is choosing to move forward with hope and optimism. "I see the mud as useful and necessary; I'm tilling a new garden 🪴 and planting a new set of seeds, literally 'rooting' for it all to come together and to emerge from the mud with new life," she continued.

In another post on Saturday, Mackins admitted that she has been "struggling" with how to talk about her cancer diagnosis on social media. "But the silence is what kills us," she said in a video, expressing her desire to be an advocate in her community and spread awareness.

"Courage to talk about it. One step at a time," she captioned the post.

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