Dear Friends of Maya, 

As promised, we are celebrating Maya’s birthday on 12/12 by giving you an update on what we are doing in her honor.

Throughout her life, Maya made an impact everywhere she went. Via relationships, podcasts, blogs and her work at YouTube, she reached more people in her 32 years than many people do in a full lifespan. Since her passing, her influence has continued. We continue to receive so many heartwarming messages from people who tell us how Maya’s advice or courage in dealing with her disease has influenced them positively. 

 Here are a few concrete examples of how she continues to help others: 

Maya’s Way:

In Maya’s final days, she asked that we help young women with cancer confront their illness by inspiring them to live as fully and healthily as possible. As a result, Maya’s Way was born as a project within the Integrative Medicine Foundation, a 501 c (3) nonprofit. Maya’s Way aims to help young women under 40 to cope, rally, and flourish during their cancer treatment. We have already been able to raise $500,000 for this cause, and Sandi has led with great thoughtfulness. Funds allow these patients to work with an integrative medicine physician, alongside their oncologists, to optimize their health potential while receiving conventional therapy. 

This year, Alliance Integrative Medicine (Steve and Sandi’s practice) has become part of The Christ Hospital network, a large hospital system in Cincinnati. Christ Hospital is also affiliated with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University. This partnership has allowed greater reach into the oncology area. Sandi has worked with the oncologists at Christ Hospital, and we have been able to reach young women with heartbreakingly tragic stories and difficult prognoses. Maya would take great pride in knowing that we are providing them with the following adjunctive integrative care for completely zero cost:  

  • Integrative medicine consultations 
  • Targeted high quality supplements to decrease side effects and improve quality of life 
  • Acupuncture to treat many of the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery 
  • Massage therapy, cranio-sacral therapy and energy healing to help deal with pain, stress and anxiety 
  • Lymphatic massage for patients with lymphedema after mastectomy 
  • Nutritional consultation and support 
  • Complimentary Gratitude Journals and samples of safe beauty care products 

Here is one Maya’s Way patient’s experience: 

“I am currently going through breast cancer treatments, finishing up 18 rounds of chemotherapy, and I will have surgery and possibly radiation in the New Year. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Maya’s Way and to Dr. Sandi, I have been able to receive weekly acupuncture treatments to treat my side effects and symptoms as well as energy and cranial sacral work, and AIM supplements. Dr. Sandi has worked to keep my immune system strong and my white blood cell count up while helping me find relief from nausea, fatigue, neuropathy, joint pain, digestion issues, mouth sores, ringing in ears, stress, and more. During the restful period of a treatment, while the acupuncture needles are in place, I have been able to find space to connect and process where I am emotionally and immediately after a treatment, I have a noticeable increase in energy. This has made all of the difference in my quality of life as I fight this disease. It is because of Maya’s Way and these treatments that I have had the energy and strength to continue fighting. Thank you for making this possible, I am forever grateful.” – Heather 

We have recently transitioned Maya’s Way to become its own separate fund within The Christ Hospital Foundation. (If you would like to donate, click here and click on Donate Now, then choose Maya’s Way Fund from the dropdown menu under Gift Designation.)  


Human Stories on You Tube:

In late September, YouTube launched a new “Personal Stories” product which works to put patient voices front and center. This product was not only inspired by Maya but directly shaped by her work and influence. The YouTube blog (which is also YouTube’s press release) unveils the new feature and outlines Maya’s impact on the product, the broader YouTube Health efforts and her team. The announcement got a lot of coverage – being tweeted by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, included in the White House Fact Sheet and covered by both tech and health press (TechCrunchThe VergeBecker’s Health). 

Here is the YouTube press release for this endeavor:  

“Many times, people aren’t coming to YouTube with a health question at all. Instead, they come with a human question: how do I live with this? 

People grappling with the reality of living with a health condition, especially a chronic one, were not looking for information. They were looking for support. How did other people live with this? Does it ever get better? How do I support my loved one through this? What meaning can I make of it? And they were all getting at the same human element: we help each other get through things. The need for connection and belonging is a universal one, and that’s proven with data – the science of peer support shows that social connectedness positively impacts both physical and mental health. 

Today, we’re launching a new way to do just that, with the introduction of our new Personal Stories shelf. Starting this week, when you search for health topics and questions related to certain conditions, you’ll see a shelf showing videos of personal stories relevant to the topic. To start, we are focusing on queries related to cancer, and mental health topics like anxiety and depression, but these topic areas will expand over the coming months. The Personal Stories shelf will be available for users in the US, but we plan to expand this feature to more markets around the world. 

To be eligible for the shelf, videos must primarily focus on a personal, authentic lived experience that is relevant to a specific physical or mental health condition. Content that is promotional in nature is not eligible for this feature, and all videos that appear in this feature must comply with our policies that prevent the spread of health misinformation. This work was deeply influenced and informed by the personal experiences of all of us on the YouTube Health team, but none more so than our colleague Maya Amoils. Thank you Maya!”

 You can learn more about this here: Answering the human questions on your healthcare journey (blog. You Tube)

Casa Loce Farm and Winery: 

 When COVID happened, Maya and Angela created a beautiful retreat on a farm and working wine producing facility in Ojai California. They called it “Casa Loce”. Loce  means “loving someone but loving them more than any words can articulate.”  Casa Loce was a haven for Maya, and all of us, during the pandemic and whilst she was enduring her cancer care. She celebrated life fully in this peaceful space and enjoyed the “pink moment “sunsets that the area is well known for. 

The farm has beautiful vineyards that are dry-farmed and sustainable. The local vintner they employed has created the first vintage of wines that are spectacular. The “Maya Rose” 2021 and the” Maya Picpoul Blanc” scored 92 and 90 points respectively, and Wine Enthusiast awarded them the Editor’s Choice award in November. Maya would be thrilled with the quality and beauty of the wine that has been made and would be encouraging us all to savor a glass as we raise a toast to her on her birthday. 

You can shop for these wines here. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of these wines will go to Maya’s Way.

Thank you all for your continued love and support as we continue to inspire and live our lives in a manner that would make Maya proud. 

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season! 

With love, 

Angela, Dean, Misha, Sandi and Steve