Maya Enomoto

An online fundraiser has been organized on behalf of Jason and Saori Enomoto, whose daughter, Maya, is battling brain cancer.

The message at https://www.gofundme.com/f/for-maya-and-family reads as follows:

“Hi! My name is Miki Suzuki and the Enomotos are one of our closest and dearest friends.

“Recently, their littlest one, Maya, started having headaches and was getting sick on and off for days. She was taken to urgent care and doctors, who could not figure out what the issue was initially. After a few visits to different doctors, it was discovered to be brain cancer. Maya has a couple of tumors which have yet to be removed as this is being written. She has been hospitalized since Jan. 3 and remains in the ICU, as her brain continues bleed.

“If you have ever met Maya, she leaves quite an impression! She is always full of energy, spunky, and as friendly as a little ten-year-old could be. She would dance, sing, and tell us stories of everything that happened that day — and everything that didn’t that she wished would’ve happened! And now, to have the little spunky, sweet girl all quiet and in an ICU bed is heartbreaking.

“The Enomoto family owns and operates Dakara Sushi Restaurant in Whittier, which has been closed since the new year. They have not been able to reopen, as both parents are at their daughter’s side. Maya also has two older siblings, Jalen and Leila, who are being cared for by their uncle and grandparents. They have not been able to visit Maya due to COVID protocols in place at the hospital, and resort to Facetime as a way to see their sister.

“The Enomotos are a generational basketball family. The dad (Jason) and uncle (Kevin) both played basketball in the Japanese leagues, and also as high schoolers (La Serna), and now all three of the children play at various organizations in both L.A. County and Orange County (imagine their schedules!). They are also very active within the Japanese community centers, namely Southeast Japanese School, where they lend a hand whenever culinary needs arise.

“I am reaching out to everyone in hopes of supporting them in this time of need, as the medical bills start rolling in and their restaurant remains closed. All gifts are appreciated. Thank you for your generosity.”

In a message posted on Jan. 18, the Enomotos said, “THANK YOU for all of the ongoing support and positive thoughts. We are truly blessed and lucky to have such a supportive community around us.

“Maya has been diagnosed with high-grade glioma and it is very aggressive. Doctors are meeting to discuss options and we will post more when have more to share. Thank you for your continued love and support.”

Nearly $178,000 has been raised toward the $250,000 goal.

In addition, Dave’s Hot Chicken and Blaze Pizza are holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 12 to 8 p.m. at 12 locations with 50% of all proceeds going to Maya’s cause. Online orders preferred using the promo code MAYA2023.

Dave’s Hot Chicken

11615 South St., Artesia 90701

154 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton 92832

12380 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach 90740

10832 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley 92708

Blaze Pizza

1800 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim 92802

17150 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley 92728

8311 La Palma Ave., Buena Park 90620

2841 W. MacArthur Blvd., Santa Ana 92704

1360 S. Beach Blvd., La Habra 90631

9737 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove 92841

14427 Culver Dr., Irvine 92604

12380 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach 90740

“Maya is an awesome 10-year-old friend of mine,” said Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Frank Aurelio Yokoyama. “She is talkative and friendly to my kids, Makenna and Maddox. Maya and Makenna would sit together to watch their respective brothers, Jalen and Maddox, play basketball games since elementary school to now high school. Maya has a big smile. She always says hi to me. Maya looks like her mom and plays basketball like her dad.

“Her parents’ restaurant supports Cerritos High School sports. Maya’s Uncle Kevin has been a Cerritos High School Boys Basketball assistant coach.

“Please help our friend Maya.”

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