“Mom, when am I going back?”
At 3-years-old, Maliya contracted a cold, and her mom, Joy, noticed that her daughter’s balance was off. Antibiotics cleared up Maliya’s cold, but it didn’t help her regain her sense of balance. As her ability to walk continued to decline, Maliya also complained of her neck hurting. Joy took her to the hospital where a CAT scan and MRI showed that Maliya had a cancerous mass on her brain that was scheduled for surgical removal the very next day.
Due to the location and severity of Maliya’s tumor in her cerebellum, her neurosurgeon did not want to risk a potential long-term impairment to the toddler’s intellectual and neurological function. However, this type of aggressive tumor was life-threatening and could easily spread to other areas of the brain.
While the surgical team was able to remove most of the tumor, complications forced them to stop before they could completely finish. A few months later, Maliya underwent a second surgery to remove the rest of the tumor. After these surgeries, Maliya had to relearn how to talk and walk. She also attended speech therapy and continues to attend physical therapy to this day.
Now 4-years-old, Maliya is a happy child who loves to sing along to the soundtrack of Annie and play with her Barbie dolls and pink plush unicorns. She was absolutely thrilled with her wish trip to San Francisco where she visited the city’s Children’s Creativity Museum, Aquarium of the Bay and the San Francisco Zoo. Her inner princess came to life at Magic Princess and Pump It Up, two venues designed for children’s parties. The family’s accommodations at the Grand Hyatt and their meals at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, the Rain Forest Café and Hard Rock Café were memorable as each establishment went out their way to welcome this young girl and make her feel special.
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make Maliya’s wish come true:
• Grand Hyatt San Francisco
• Pump it Up
• Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
• San Francisco Zoo
• Magic Princess
• Aquarium of the Bay
• Rain Forest Café
• Children’s Creativity Museum
• Hard Rock Café
• Enterprise Car Rental
Tags: Aquarium of the Bay, brain, brain cancer, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, CA, california, cancer, Children’s Creativity Museum, Enterprise Car Rental, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Hard Rock Café, Magic Princess, Mass, Pump it Up, Rain Forest Café, San Francisco Zoo, tumors