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Meet The Five-Year-Old Who Lights Up Every Room She Enters!

This little fashionista is always the star of the show, radiating kindness wherever she goes. This is Maya, who faced a DIPG diagnosis at just 3 years old. This rare and aggressive brain tumor predominantly affects children, and Maya has been bravely fighting it since November 2022. 


As soon as you meet Maya, you notice the amazing sense of style that she has. Maya loves to add on a pair of heels to her outfits, which she learned to walk in when she was only two years old! Maya and her mom joined Jacob’s Heart last fall, and our Family Center quickly became one of Maya's favorite places. She loves playing here, especially with her Family Support Specialist, Esme. 


When Maya and her mom visited the Family Center last month in May, we had the joy of celebrating her 5th birthday together! Maya enjoyed her presents, some delicious cake, and a face painting of one of her favorite animals - a unicorn! 


“Through all the chaos, Jacob’s Heart has been a safe place that distracts the kids. It is a little haven…”

-Maya's Mom 


Maya’s kindness is always shining through to others. Maya’s mom says she is very generous and caring, always lending a helping hand when she can. They spend their days in the spring and summer hatching butterflies, something Maya looks forward to every year. Maya's creative spirit shines through in her love for painting and doing her own makeup. She adores playing dress-up, bringing out the beautiful princess dresses from her costume-filled closet. 



“Maya makes everyone smile, she is like a star everywhere we go, even at the doctors - when we were at the children’s hospital in the beginning at the ER, everyone noticed her.” 

-Maya's Mom


Since moving up to this area last June, Maya and her mom go to UCSF for her appointments. Jacob’s Heart has been able to step in and help provide them with food and gas cards in order to make these monthly journeys up to San Francisco a bit easier. Maya’s mom is currently not working so she can care for Maya, and this support helps to alleviate some of the stress on their family. 


Maya’s mom shared that the hardest part of this journey is the uncertainty of it all. As they navigate the uncertainty of DIPG, Jacob’s Heart will stand by their side, offering unwavering support and ensuring they never face this journey alone. 



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