Support Maya's Fight Against Breast Cancer

On October 31st, at the age of 27, Maya was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer and since then it’s been a fight. She found the lump herself which was about the size of a pearl and nobody expected it to be what it was since the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in your 20's is about 0.06%. Due to the aggressive nature of the cancer and her age, she underwent a double mastectomy with temporary reconstruction at the beginning of January in Los Angeles at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. During surgery they found that unfortunately it had spread to her lymph nodes and many of them were also removed which put her at high risk for lymphedema. She was one lymph node away from being stage 3. What was planned to be a few hour surgery ended up to be much longer and resulted in an aggressive treatment plan. 

Since then she's had a couple of additional surgeries and procedures at Cedar Sinai which kept her away from home for almost two months.  She started her chemotherapy in California but was able to come home to complete her sessions at North Hawaii Community Hospital. Her chemo regimen includes 4 different types of drugs to combat the various components (HER2, estrogen and progesterone) of the cancer. She has chemotherapy sessions with all four drugs every 3 weeks until the end of May. Once that step is completed she has to go back to California to start radiation which will be every weekday for approximately 7 weeks. She will continue to have infusions every 3 weeks for the next year, but only with two of the drugs which do not have as severe of side affects. 

Fortunately, Maya has good medical insurance that covers part of the cost of most of her surgeries and treatment, but there is still a lot that it does not account for. Each round of her chemo (6 sessions) alone costs approximately $30,000 which insurance only pays about 80% of. Not to mention the infusions every 3 weeks for the next year which cost about half of that each time. She will also need to cover living expenses while she is going through treatment and healing, therefore not able to work as she used to. Since she was diagnosed, her main focus has been scheduling doctors appointments, surgeries, treatments and planning to be gone for months at a time. Although she would like to work in-between treatments it hasn't been possible with the side affects and amount of appointments each week.

We understand that unfortunately we all know someone that has been affected by cancer, but at such a young age there are additional parts of the treatment journey a lot of patients don't have to think about. For example, Maya also has to do hormone therapy since her cancer is estrogen positive and she has yet to go through menopause or have children. Some people think that since she's younger, it's easier to fight it, but in this case it makes the treatment plan more complicated and puts her at a higher risk for the cancer to come back. 

She has had to make a lot of serious decisions in a short amount of time, therefore assisting to alleviate some of the financial worry will help her tremendously with the stress of it all. Any little bit makes a difference!

Even though it’s a tough road, Maya feels so lucky that she found it when she did and even luckier to have such an incredible community of friends and family standing by her side. The love and support she has in Hawaii and afar has made this fight all worth it.

Thank you!

Donations ()

  • Ron and Chrissi and Sophia Lemire 
    • $100 
    • 24 d
  • Jaclyn Truett 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Karl Toubman 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Saian Smith  
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
  • Eamon Smith 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Maya (2)

Christine Marie Thomas 
Organizer
Raised $15,108 from 61 donations
Kamuela, HI
Marley Taufmann 
Team member
Raised $3,280 from 16 donations
This team raised $14,198 from 112 other donations.
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