Deadlifts For Dreams
Elevator doors opened up to reveal Maya, who had just finished a round of chemo, singing Lion King songs at the top of her lungs, delighting the other patients and parents in the Children’s Hospital cancer ward.
We’re Deadlifting for her Dream!
“She loves Lion King,” Maya’s mother, Sarah says, laughing. “But she doesn’t really know the words, so she just sings what it sounds like to her.”
Maya has a long list of things she loves; her older sister, Brielle—who is always looking out for her—Kraft Dinner, bologna and yogurt, just to name a few. She is a small girl who is full of energy and kindness, despite her difficult battle with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).
Maya was diagnosed with ALL when she was two years old and has gone through five phases of chemotherapy.
“The first thing she says when she wakes up from sedation is ‘thirty-six!’” Sarah says. “That’s the safe temperature we need her body to be at, so I guess over time she heard us praying for thirty-six and now she says it.”
The first round of chemo was tough on Maya, but she has been absolutely resilient during the subsequent rounds, according to her parents. She is so tough, that deadlifters in Winnipeg have recognized Maya’s strength and have joined together to raise money for Maya’s dream with Deadlifts for Dreams.
Deadlifts for Dreams is a fundraising event where deadlifters from across North America will compete for first place and support Maya, who shows her incredible strength every day. The deadlifters have been competing a little early, though, by one-upping each other for most money raised and the title of Top Overall Fundraiser.
“They are so competitive,” says Dave Beakley, director of the event. “They’re already in competition mode and the top fundraiser switches back and forth every day as they try to stay on top. It’s great.”
The goal amount was $10,000 and as of the end of February, that was already surpassed. Now, the total is over $15,000 and is showing no signs of stopping.
Deadlifts for Dreams is Saturday, March 30 at Midtown Barbell, and lifting starts at 10:30 am. The event is open to the public, and all money raised will go towards making Maya’s dream come true. To donate, visit deadliftsfordreams.ca.
Thanks to Kelsey Marcotte from Red River College’s Creative Communications Program for her help with this story – it is truly appreciated.