A Mighty Little Warrior Scores a Touchdown for Tackle Kids Cancer  A Mighty Little Warrior Scores a Touchdown for Tackle Kids Cancer   

A Mighty Little Warrior Scores a Touchdown for Tackle Kids Cancer

Sometimes, the smallest of us are the mightiest and most resilient, especially when it comes to five-year-old Maya Finkelstein of Wyckoff. Maya, who recently overcame her battle with pediatric cancer, rang the cancer-free bell at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in September. Since then, she has been keeping quite busy. The kindergartner was featured in Tackle Kids Cancer's newest commercial with #TeamTKC Captain Eli Manning and even started her own fundraising page with her family, which has raised more than $52,000, and counting, to benefit Tackle Kids Cancer. 


When Maya was four-years-old, she was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor, a rare form of pediatric cancer that begins in the kidneys. After a successful surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Maya was finally able to ring the celebratory bell, signifying the end to her battle with cancer.  


To close out 2022, a year like no other, the Finkelstein family participated in Eli’s Challenge to raise critical funds to support Tackle Kids Cancer and Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health Children’s Cancer Institute, which funds research and innovative patient care programs, including the Sibling Support Program at the Children’s Hospital. 


Maya’s sister, Ellie, benefited from the Sibling Support Program while Maya was in treatment. Created to meet the emotional needs of brothers and sisters of children undergoing medical treatment, the program - funded by philanthropy - is managed through the Child Life department and includes one-on-one therapy and group therapy, including bereavement groups and organized recreational outings.


Money raised has double the impact, as Eli has promised to match up to $200,000 raised through fundraising pages. Only 4% of the national cancer research budget is allocated to pediatric cancer research, so every little bit of support helps! 


“We remain cautiously optimistic about what we often refer to as Maya’s ‘situation,’” says Maya’s family. "We are forever grateful for the care and support that we have received from Tackle Kids Cancer.”

Maya and her family’s support will go a long way and benefit pediatric patients today and in the future. We are so proud and thankful! To learn more about Tackle Kids Cancer or Eli’s Challenge in 2023, please contact amy.glazer@hmhn.org

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