Mya Salu's Medical Expenses


First off, I want to personally thank you for taking time out of your day to read about my little sister, Mya, and why I am setting up this GoFundMe. My name is Malia, and I am currently living in Corvallis, and earning my undergraduate in Digital Communications from Oregon State. I am originally from Portland, OR, where my mother, April, and little sister Mya live. Being a 22 year old broke college student, I decided that I needed help helping my family. 

When Mya was a baby, we found out that she was born with a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 1. This condition causes light brown spots to appear all over her body and tumors to grow on her nerve endings. Most of the tumors that have grown are benign and harmless, with low chances of becoming cancerous and no need for surgery. Well, that is, until about six months ago.  Within the last year, we noticed that one of Mya's tumors, on her neck near her collar bone, was rapidly growing in size. We were warned that tumor growth may increase around this age (she just turned 13 in May! Yay teenager!), but we always kept hope and believed that everything would turn out fine. After many doctors appointments, specialist consultations, MRIs, biopsies, and so on, we weren't getting the answers we needed. My mother, acting on a strong motherly instinct, decided to take Mya's health into her own hands. She spent hours on the computer doing research on Mya's condition and treatments that other children have tried. She finally found a little boy who had a very similar tumor to Mya's, but had reduced it through an experimental treatment at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. Instantly, my mom was sending emails, making phone calls, trying to get into personal contact with anybody that could give her more information on the program, and possibly a life changing opportunity for my baby sister.  After persistance and hours on hours of phone calls, my amazing mother got Mya into an NIH program that provided her with medical care from top doctors. The only downfall is that the institute was on the other side of the country...

My mom and Mya trekked across the states and finally got to meet a team of amazing doctors. This is where it all became a lot more complicated. After they ran tests to make sure that Mya was suited for the treatment program, they shockingly determined her ineligible. Mya's tumors had turned atypical.  

Now, we are preparing for an incredibly serious surgery that will change Mya's life. The surgery will be taking place at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore sometime within the next few months. The surgery Mya needs is an incredibly hard and complicated surgery, and has a lot of high risks. It has taken so long to find a doctor capable of performing it, and my mom has not let anything get in the way of this opportunity. But all of this has taken a huge toll on my family. As a single mother, my mom is supporting me in college and Mya as she now begins being homeschooled--all of the trips and appointments meant Mya was missing a lot of school. With traveling to NIH and Hopkins in Maryland, and taking time away from her business to take care of Mya, my mom has taken a huge financial hit. All I want is to take care of my family, and make sure that they are supported throughout this miraculous journey. 

Please help me pay for Mya's medical expenses and support my beautiful mother. It's so hard to ask for help in times of need, but I know that all of my friends and family care about Mya as much as my mom and I do! 

Much love from me and my family, and thank you so much <3 <3 <3


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Malia Charlotte Salu 
Happy Valley, OR
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