Maya was diagnosed with metastasized brain cancer three weeks shy of her third birthday. Doctors in her hometown of Las Vegas performed emergency brain surgery to remove a portion of the tumor, but could not remove it entirely due to its dangerous proximity to her brain stem.
Following initial surgery, Maya and her family faced a long road of hospital visits, chemotherapy and medical treatments to stabilize four other tumors on Maya’s spine. The prognosis was grim and compounded by the fact there was no neuro-oncologist in Las Vegas to treat Maya.
After exhaustive research, Maya’s family found Dr. Nick Foreman at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He began overseeing Maya's care from afar and consulted with her on-site doctors over the phone during the ensuing years of intense chemotherapy treatment.
Moving to Colorado
Maya and her family decided to move to Denver in 2007 to have Dr. Foreman lead her care in person with Children’s Colorado as home base. “We would follow Dr. Foreman to the end of the earth to have him be Maya's doctor,” said Maya’s mom, Sheila.
As Maya continued chemotherapy, her tumors began to shrink and, in time, the last tumor on the lower lumbar of her spine disappeared.
Cancer-free and thriving
Now 12 years old, Maya has been cancer-free for six years and is doing well. “She is truly our little miracle, and we are eternally grateful for the care she has gotten at Children's Hospital Colorado,” said Sheila.
Maya continues to visit Children’s Colorado for annual checkups. Despite continuing to battle fatigue and lasting cognitive and neurological difficulties from undergoing chemotherapy at such a young age, Maya is thriving in school and has big dreams for herself – dreams made possible thanks to a bright and healthy future.