Royal Oak 6th grader uses robot to attend school while undergoing chemo

Maya Proctor can't physically attend class at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. But her robot can. 

Thanks to technology, the 12-year-old Michigan girl went through her cancer fight and went to school at the same time. She was at Beaumont Hospital battling cancer at the same time she battled 6th grade algebra. 

"This [technology] provides the link between hospital and normal life for these kids," says Janis Traynor, a Beaumont Hospital teacher. 

Normal life suddenly changed for Maya in mid November. The happy-go lucky-active athlete was stunned to be diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that affects white blood cells. She immediately had to stop going to school and start chemotherapy. 

"I'm really bummed out that I'm missing basketball season," she told us. 

But still being a part of the classroom impacts her mind and body. 

"Missing school is a huge source of anxiety for her, and it removes the source of anxiety so she can really focus on her treatment and healing and getting better," her mother, Amanda Burgess-Proctor, explained.

It's thanks to this $5,000 robot from the Children's Miracle Network that Maya can not only participate in class, but her friends get to interact with her. 

"It's fun because I can see them. When I'm okay and I'm laughing with them, because they're worried about me, [when they see me] I can just tell they're all like, 'Okay, she's fine.'"

Maya even controls her robot, which means when it's time to switch classrooms she remotely moves the monitor on wheels down the hall, which even the kids at her school enjoy as the new normal. 

"At first for the first couple of days, of course it was insane that this technology could let me go to school, but now it's just, 'Oh yeah, there's a robot in our classroom.'"

For Maya and her family, the normality of it all is comforting. 

"Maya has been a fighter since day one," her mom told us. "She actually was in the NICU after she was born and fought to stay with us then, and is fighitng now. She has been incredibly resillient. This whole thing, she's taking it in stride and her attitude and just her demeanor about the whole thing has really been humbling for all of us."

Maya has now finished her chemotherapy and everything is looking good. She's even been cleared to return to school and is rebuilding her stamina. She's hoping to soon play lacrosse. 

In the meantime, Maya and her family raised $10,000 to buy two more robots. If you'd like to make a donation to Children's Miracle Network, you can do so online here. Make a note on your donation page that your donation is specifically for robots.