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Meet Mayela

“When we walked through the doors of St. Jude, we felt we could breathe again,” said Angel, Mayela's dad.

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St. Jude patient Mayela stands in front of a Puerto Rico flag.

Mayela recently returned from “the best trip” of her life in the Dominican Republic, where she created lasting memories with her mom and dad before she started another school year.  

“I’m happy,” said Mayela, 11, who is in sixth grade. “I have great parents who support me in all I do, and physically, I am doing really well.”  

St. Jude patient Mayela walks on the beach hand-in-hand with her mom and dad

In 2018, Mayela was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. In AML, white blood cells, produced in bone marrow, are abnormal and do not become healthy cells. These abnormal cells crowd out the normal ones so that the patient’s body has a harder time fighting off infection. 

It was heartbreaking news. I like to solve everything, but at that moment, it was not in my hands. I could not resolve this situation for my daughter.

Angel, Mayela's dad

A string of photos held up by clips shows various happy moments in Mayela's life.

Doctors in Puerto Rico referred Mayela to St. Jude where she underwent a bone marrow transplant in August 2018, with her dad serving as her donor. Her parents are thankful for the treatment and care she received. 

“I was full of joy and emotion, and grateful for St. Jude,” Angel said about being his daughter’s donor.

St. Jude patient Mayela studies for school while sitting at her desk at home.

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. We won't stop until no child dies from cancer.


Mayela finished treatment and now visits St. Jude regularly for checkups. Meanwhile, at home, she keeps busy improving her swimming and her aim in air gun shooting, a sport she recently picked up.  

Mayela has also become a small business owner. She makes colorful bracelets with hearts, faces and other shapes, and creates her own soaps with a variety of scents like lavender, oatmeal and honey. 

“Everything that Mayela does reminds us how blessed we are,” her mother, Karen, said. 

St. Jude patient Mayela flexes her muscles while smiling to show her strength.

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