Maya’s Story

Site created on April 11, 2011

Hello!  Welcome to my website!  My name is Maya Collins.  I am 12 years old and I have been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).  I had a bone marrow transplant on September 1st, 2011 and my cancer went into remission but we found out in May 2012 that I had relapsed.  I had my second bone marrow transplant on August 3, 2012.  All was wonderful for 4 years!  I went back to dance classes, horseback riding and made straight A's in school!  I was able to enjoy life to the fullest until the end of June 2016 when unfortunately we discovered that I had relapsed again.  So, I enter the battle for a 3rd time, but I'm strong and fully recovered from my treatments 4 years ago so I'm ready to kick cancer to the curb once and for all!   Please follow my journey.  It's going to be a long, hard road, but with the love, prayers and support of my family and friends I know I can do it!  

We are currently at St. Jude in Memphis while she is recovering from her 3rd bone marrow  transplant.  Here is our mailing address:

Maya Collins - PATIENT
1811 Poplar Ave.
Target House 2, Apt. #319
Memphis, TN  38104

Bonnie's email address:

Newest Update

Journal entry by Bonnie Collins

I posted this on my social media today.  I thought I would share it here for those who are not on Facebook:

3 years. It seems like a lifetime, but then it also just seems like yesterday. The memories of that day, and the days leading up to Oct. 3, 2017 are soul crushing. Each day we prayed that your lungs would show improvement. Oh how the nurses and doctors wracked their brains trying to figure out how to make you better. The one respiratory resident, or fellow, I can't remember what he was but his name was Chad and he would just stand in your room, looking at the monitors and making tiny adjustments to the machine, hoping that he could make your lungs well again. I could just see the look of sadness and frustration in his eyes when your lungs didn't respond. Then rounds in the morning and the doctors just started looking down at their feet. I knew what that meant. They were out of ideas. In the end, I felt almost a tinge of relief... knowing that you would not be suffering anymore. I knew you wanted to go. Your dignity was gone. You would never have recovered fully. It was time to let go. And you went peacefully.
As the world continues on without you, for our family it stopped when you passed. I will not rest until we can find cures and better treatment options for pediatric cancer. You suffered so greatly, and in the end you were cancer free, but the treatments you endured took you down. I know you would want our family to go on with the fight... to live out your legacy helping others.
This is the last day of my fundraiser. Help me reach my $3K goal today. It is my hope that by the end of the year we can donate $20K to St. Jude (we've already donated $10K) and $10K to the leukemia & lymphoma society. We will select pediatric cancer as the area our money will benefit at LLS. We also hope to continue to financially assist local families who are in crisis right now due to the pandemic.
Maya, I hope you are looking down and see how you are changing the world every day. Your death will not be in vain. It will have a purpose.... it will change lives. I love you. I love you more. I love you most. #LiveLikeMaya #childhoodcancer #neverforget #morethan4 #mayastrong
I posted my Facebook fundraiser.  For those of you who are not on social media, I never shy away from asking for donations.  I will never stop until we have CURES and better treatment options!  If you find it in your heart to donate to my foundation today, you can do so by Venmo:  LIVELIKEMAYA or at  And a HUGE thank you to all who have already donated.  Pediatric research has taken a huge hit due to the pandemic and so many families are struggling right now.  ALL of you are making a difference and our family is eternally grateful!!!
Also, a big thank you to CTI for selecting our foundation as their charity for the month of September, and to USA Frame for selecting us for their charity for the month of October!! We are so grateful!
Thank you to The Common Beer Company, Todd Hudson at Wildflower Cafe and Third Eye Brewing Company for their incredible fundraisers for our foundation!  We collected 47 units of blood at our blood drive at Third Eye and registered 21 people to the national bone marrow registry!  Amazing!!
Designer Purse Raffle,  4 designer bags being raffled during the month of October!
Please tune in to our Facebook LIVE event tomorrow, Sunday, at 7 PM on our MayaStrong foundation page! Because we had to cancel our designer bag Bingo event this year due to Covid we are going virtual with a Designer Bag Raffle, hosted by our favorite drag queen, Dee W. Ieye.  She is hysterical and the purses we are raffling off are beautiful.  We will raffle off 4 purses total (one each week) and Dee will go LIVE on Facebook with each "bag reveal" on each Sunday in October.  She will have some fun trivia questions and we have some great prizes but you have to tune in to watch her LIVE each Sunday in October at 7 PM.  If you are not on social media, we will post the video on our website here and you can see the purse being raffled each week: 
Raffle tickets are 1 for $20 and 4 for $75.   Raffle sales will go all week long after Dee's LIVE video and on the following Saturday a pediatric cancer patient will draw the winner.  This coming Saturday, the 10th, Reef Carneson, will be drawing the winner.  We will also share Reef's story tomorrow so stay tuned on Facebook or on our website!  We will post the video on our FB page and on our website Event page.  After the entire month, we will tally up the funds we have raised and proceeds will be divided amongst the 4 families.  To purchase raffle tickets please either Venmo:  LIVELIKEMAYA or go to:
And finally, we are still planning on moving forward with our Mother's Day fundraiser in 2021 for our foundation and the Shine Like Sable Foundation benefiting Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Please save the date for May 8th.   For whomever purchased tickets, we are holding onto them and we appreciate your patience!  The event will still be at the Manor House.  We will still be in need of raffle baskets and donated items so stay tuned for more info in the next coming months.  Here is the sign up sheet for all who had signed up.  If you need to make any changes you can do so here:
For any questions please email me at
And today, in Maya's memory, please do a random act of kindness. If you have one of her RAK cards, please use one... or more.  Put a smile on someone's face as Maya would always do.  Below are some photos my mother-in-law sent me today that I have never seen.  Typical goofy Maya, always making people smile. And ALWAYS wearing the biggest smile on her face... even when meeting Jesus... and you CANNOT tell me this painting is NOT of her!!!   Thank you all for LIVING LIKE MAYA.  #MayaStrong
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