Olympian and Cancer Survivor Maia Shibutani Is Helping Health Care Workers During Coronavirus Crisis

Last week, Maia shared her thoughts on the 2020 Summer Olympics getting postponed due to COVID-19.

“This unforeseen period of uncertainty has been an unprecedented challenge, but I’m glad that everyone’s health and safety is being prioritized,” she wrote. “The Games are about many things, but among them are the pursuit of excellence and the power of the human spirit.”

The Olympian added, “the grit and resilience all the athletes will show leading up to and during the Olympics will inspire us all. I have hope that we will make it through this and the world will come together again for Tokyo 2020 (in 2021). It will be a spectacular celebration.”

As of Friday, there are at least 272,502 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 7,046 deaths related to the contagious respiratory virus.

As Maia has had cancer she needs to be extra careful during the pandemic.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer survivors are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus as “types of cancer and treatments such as chemotherapy can weaken your immune system and may increase your risk of any infection, including with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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