Alayna Rodriguez was just 4 when she was first diagnosed with Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma. After being in remission for a year, her cancer returned.
To receive a cancer diagnosis early on in one's life is mortifying as it is, but to beat the deadly disease only to learn that it has relapsed is truly devastating. A California family is trying to overcome a similar situation as their 6-year-old was left battling the life-threatening disease a second time after being declared cancer-free for a year. Alayna Rodriguez was just 4 when she first received the terrifying diagnosis. It was Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma, a rare type of fast-growing tumours that often occurs in the brain but can also occur in the spine affecting the central nervous system, according to the National Cancer Institute. It often proves to be deadly due to the fast rate at which it spreads, says National Institute of Health.
After enduring a gruelling treatment plan, Alayna beat the odds and became cancer-free in July 2019. Her mother, Eugenia Rodriguez, revealed how her beloved daughter fought for two years without any complaints. "She has fought so hard for the last two years, [being] uncomplaining, resilient," shared Rodriguez. Unfortunately, this happiness was short-lived for Rodriguez and her family as their little girl began experiencing some side effects from her cancer treatment. Next, Alayna was getting surgery in May.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family cover the exorbitant expenses. https://t.co/WaltDqPZ1S— BeingMe@Peace (@AtPeacebeingMe) December 10, 2020
6-Year-Old Girl Diagnosed With Cancer a Second Time: 'She Is Our Sunshine,' Mom Says https://t.co/oIXnJ2nmj9
She was transferred to a PICU in Tennessee from a hospital in California, reports PEOPLE. Alayna was MedFlighted back in August. After returning to California, she underwent a checkup and that's when doctors made the shocking discovery. Alayna's cancer had returned and it had metastasized to her brain. Just like that, her challenging battle with cancer had begun once again. Her family is continuously praying for their sunshine's recovery. "Alayna is our beautiful little princess, she is our sunshine," said Rodriguez, adding, "Alayna is currently recovering at home from her complicated surgery in May and has a [long] road ahead."
She revealed how the pandemic had made treatment more challenging due to the travel restrictions. "Due to COVID-19 spreading rapidly, in-person appointments are discouraged and many travel restrictions including public health stay at home order in our area in California, making it a lot more challenging," shared the mother. Their finances have also taken a great hit due to the expensive treatments, thus the family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money. "The last couple of years have been extremely difficult for the family. As they went from 2-full time incomes to one. With new challenges but looking into the future we want to stay positive. Everyone can be inspired to take meaningful action, see things positively and try to make the best out of the situation. Never giving up Hope!" it read.
Poor baby we are all hoping that you get better real fast.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️— Molly Bear's Mom (@Jess49547324) December 9, 2020
"Your donation will help our family tremendously in our effort to pay for medical expenses that the insurance will not cover; travel, living and housing expenses. Please help alleviate some of the finances so that the family can focus all their efforts on her treatment, healing, and spending precious time together. Every donation, whether big or small will help us. Please support our GoFundMe by donating, sharing, and praying. Thank you so much for your support!" it added.
Sending prayers 🙏 & love two this beautiful child. Stay strong little darling 💙 ❤— Anita Jenkins 🇮🇪🇮🇪 (@anitajenkins411) December 9, 2020
The page has raised $5,480 of its $25,000 goal as of writing this article and Alayan's remain hopeful for the best. Rodriguez also hopes that her daughter's story helps raise awareness surrounding the experiences that families undergo when their children are diagnosed with the unforgiving disease, cancer. "It’s extremely difficult to share her story with everyone, but the family decided to share to help raise awareness to other families dealing with cancer diagnosis, emphasizing in the importance of research, and helping in saving their little girl’s life. The costs of treatments add up as they continue fighting this fight. Making changes to their daily lives for the better outcome," the page continued reading.
Click here if you wish to donate.