Our Beautiful Maria

Dear friends, with a heavy heart, we share our pain for our tragic loss of our beautiful Maria Paulo.  In the evening hours on Sunday, December 1st, our beautiful, little one, passed away far too soon from a mercilessly aggressive form of brain cancer. She was less than two months shy of her 15th birthday. The world lost an amazing vibrant child with her whole future ahead of her that night and Heaven gained another angel.

Money is being raised to help defray the costs of the funeral service for Maria. Any money raised past the goal will be a benefit to the family.
 
Ria was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in January 2018, just days before her 13th birthday. Despite the dismal prognosis of her diagnosis, she powered through numerous treatments with endless determination and willpower. Through her treatments, she graduated from the 49ers Academy and proudly started her freshman year at M-A this fall. She traveled to Disneyland and Lake Tahoe with her family and attended a Warriors basketball game with other teens from Stanford. She met the 49ers and the Stanford women’s volleyball team, and all who met her were captivated by her personality and love of life. She and her parents celebrated her last day of radiation in mid-October. She rang the end-of-treatment bell and gave a wonderful speech, thanking all for believing in her and never giving up.
 
Ria's laugh and smile had the power to fill a whole room with joy. She once told the medical team, 'when I'm sad, I think of something funny so that I laugh instead of cry'. Her mom was her best friend and her dad was her most trusted confidant. She loved and was loved by so many -- aunts, uncles, and cousins who were like siblings to her, friends, and teachers who became family. Ria and her parents, Laumua and Aitui, taught us so much over the nearly two years we knew them -- lessons about living in each moment and about what matters most in life, about placing family first, and about how the struggles of being a teenager in the age of social media do not disappear just because someone is being treated for brain cancer. Ria and her family faced and overcame so many obstacles over the past two years -- always with grace and gratitude, and always putting their love for each other first above all else.
 
She was taken from her parents too soon, yet we take some small comfort in knowing she is not suffering now. She has influenced so many around her and has left her mark on this world. 
  
We are grateful to have walked these steps together with Ria and her family, and surely her smile and laugh will be forever imprinted in our minds and hearts.

Donations

 See top
  • Julie McEvilly Roman 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Beth Colehower 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Jennafer Carson 
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Tim Tulloch 
    • $100 
    • 11 mos
  • Adhir Ravipati 
    • $100 
    • 11 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Ria! (4)

Greg St. Claire of Alpine Inn, Milagros, Nola and Town 
Organizer
Raised $850 from 6 donations
Los Altos, CA
Miriam Magana 
Team member
Raised $100 from 2 donations
Claudia Conti 
Team member
Viviana Espinosa 
Team member
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