772-342-6099 mayamatters@gmail.com

Why Maya Matters was Created

Maya Matters is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial and social support to Floridian families affected by childhood cancer.

In March 2002, Maya Marie Pettit was diagnosed with immature T-Cell/NK leukemia, a disease that renowned experts in the medical field had never seen. After fighting for nearly two years, Maya died on November 19, 2003. During Maya’s battle she and her mom talked about the good that could come from her journey. Once she was well, they planned to visit other kids with cancer, bringing them toys and trinkets to brighten their days.

Maya Matters was created to fulfill Maya’s hope of spreading joy to other children and to pass along the love, support, and generosity that Maya’s family received during her illness.

The financial program provides assistance with necessary expenses, such as rent/mortgage, utility bills, car payments, medical bills & travel expenses related to medical care. The purpose of the financial program is to ease the financial burden of these families so that they can focus on what is most important, their child. And until no child dies from cancer, Maya Matters will continue to assist with funeral expenses…every child deserves a proper burial.
The social program is intended to spread some cheer to children during their journey through cancer. By fulfilling requests for recreational items, such as toys, books, DVD’s, and gift cards for movies, restaurants, or a favorite store, children living through cancer can experience some much needed normalcy and fun.

Maya Matters’ Board Members

Cara Pettit ~ President/Co-Treasurer
Abigail Harbin ~ Treasurer
Megan Rugggeri ~ Director of Public relations
Dru Conkle ~ Board Member
Rebecca Turner ~ Board Member
Kathleen Sparkman ~ Director of Development


Maya’s Signature

“When working on coming up with the logo for Maya Matters it seemed fitting that her mark, her presence be represented in every way possible…she is no longer here, drawing new pictures for the refrigerator or painting more butterflies to brighten our days, but she left such beauty behind.  Having her signature, along with her butterfly, as part of our logo is another piece of Maya we can share with the world.”

Helping Hands Logo

“The hand prints were done the day Maya was discharged from the transplant floor, 5 1/2 weeks after her bone marrow…around 11 days later, we found out she relapsed again. This was only 47 days after the transplant…very quick, very uncommon and rare, just like so much about her disease.”

Butterfly Logo

“Our butterfly was painted by Maya Marie in Memphis at Target house during the spring of 2003, after she had relapsed the first time.  I remember sitting with her at the little kitchen table, doing the rainbow art.  She loved to draw, paint, and do crafts all the time.  It is all beautiful to me.”