Day 14: Hero Highlight ~ MayaStrong
September 14th, 2017 by Sarah Turner Davis
Meet Maya Collins
Maya was diagnosed with AML when she was eight years old, and after one relapse and two bone marrow transplants, was pronounced cancer free in 2012. The Collins family enjoyed four years of remission, almost to the five-year survivor mark, when their biggest fears were realized: Maya relapsed again in June of 2016. They have been in- and out-patient at St. Jude Children’s Research hospital since August of last year ~ Maya’s condition after her third bone marrow transplant (a “Haplo”, just like Brennan’s third and fourth transplants) has not let her stray far from St. Jude, and the four-to-six-month estimate has turned into a full year in Memphis, with only too-brief trips back home.
Maya is a strong, bright, and caring young lady with incredible determination. She loves making things, and even started a vlog to share her journey with the world!
These treatments for AML kids are still TOO TOXIC. Maya has sustained graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), pulmonary complications, infections, GI issues, trips to the ICU, incredible inflammation throughout her body, and much more. Her hair fell out from chemo, as is expected, but just recently it fell out again out of the blue! The doctors now think it is from malnutrition, as she still cannot process food properly. If everything goes according to plan (which, as is common in the world of childhood cancer, it may not), Maya is having a surgery tomorrow (Friday) to have a GJ tube placed so that she can get the nutrients she needs.
Maya’s birthday was the day before yesterday, September 12th. Send her birthday wishes by STORMING THE HEAVENS for a successful surgery tomorrow morning!
Below is a vlog Maya made two months ago about visiting the clinic at St. Jude for routine tests. Get a real behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a St. Jude patient.
P.S. Our goals for ACTION are so audacious they literally cannot be achieved without your help. For the entire month of September, every dollar donated to Press On ~ up to $250,000! ~ will be MATCHED for Target Pediatric AML (“TpAML”), a MOONSHOT project aimed at identifying genomic targets for pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients so that researchers can create specific, targeted treatments. These targeted ~ and consequently less toxic ~ treatments FOR KIDS are what Press On is all about! Please, if you are comfortable doing so, take just a few minutes of your time to DONATE NOW and SHARE today’s blog post on your Facebook page, or share via personal email with friends whom you believe have the passion to help us make a difference.
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