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

Hope.  To me, hope is one of the most important words in the universe.  Hope for the future. Hope for love. Hope for prosperity. Hope for joy. Hope for LIFE.  Without hope there is despair. 

This has been a hard week, for many.  And I've been struggling with what to write today.  I knew I wanted to write something... a tribute, but I was at a loss for words.  This week we lost a precious young life, and we honor another who passed one year ago today. Ben Tavella passed in his dorm room on Tuesday. As written in the press release by Mason schools, "Ben was a fiercely independent, witty, bright young man, who had defied many odds and was pursuing engineering."   Maya loved Ben and I know she greeted him at the gates and wrapped him in love.  

Sable Gibson passed away a year ago today, from complications related to the flu and strep throat.  Both of these deaths have rocked our community.  For  families like ours, who have lost a child, these deaths bring back memories.  Trauma.  It all comes crashing back.  It is hard not to despair.  

But, in the aftermath of tragedy there is hope.  Hope for peace and comfort.  Hope for love.  Hope that life will continue, somehow, amidst the grief and despair.  

Sable's death has brought our community together.  The kindness and love that has embraced our community because of her has been amazing.  I know that Ben's death will do the same, will renew the love and kindness within our community.  Both of these sweet souls will continue to bring us together, to work together for the greater good.  To give us hope and faith in humanity.

So, I felt that "hope" was a fitting tribute for today. And even more fitting as I head to St. Jude this afternoon with one of my dearest and most loyal friends (I have many and for that I'm so grateful).  Heading to the hospital that is so dear to my heart.  That offered our family so much hope.  I will feel closer to Maya there.  I can't wait to feel her.  😇  When I think of hope I think of this photo.  It was taken the day we arrived at St. Jude.  We had so much hope.  Hope for a cure.  Hope for a long life.  Hope for the future.

So, as our community grieves during this "National Kindness Week" please honor these babies and do an act of kindness.  Sable's family asks that you make a donation to their foundation that does so much good within our community.  To make a donation please visit:  Or make a donation to your favorite charity, buy a coffee for someone or a meal for the person behind you in the drive-thru.  Give a big tip to your waiter/waitress...  or simply open the door for someone and smile. A simple smile can go a long way.  And say a prayer for these two families on this extremely hard day.  Pray that they can find comfort and hope amidst despair. 

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