A metro mother is fighting for her daughter who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Despite her grave diagnosis, the mother is pushing forward, and is even trying to get her an aide while in school.
June 27 was when the lives of the mother and daughter were changed instantly. Doctors say 5-year-old Rubi Pinon may have less than two years to live.
"She was so rambunctious. She loved to play and run, and now she doesn't do any of that stuff," said Tina Chavez.
Five days a week, for six weeks, Rubi underwent radiation therapy. The hope is that it will help reduce the size of a massive tumor in her brain.
"Her head is filled with the tumor," said Chavez. "It's shaped like a pear."
Chavez noticed her daughter began to suddenly look and act differently just two days before her diagnosis.
"Ruby started walking like she was drunk. That's the only way I know how to describe it," said Chavez.
Rubi was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Brain Stem Glioma.
Research shows survival past 12 to 14 months is uncommon, and new approaches to treating these tumors are urgently needed. Radiation therapy has been the main treatment approach.
"Doctors don't give us any hope," said Chavez. "We have to beat it, we have to do whatever we can to beat it. The study, and anything else that's put in our way."
Rubi is getting support from as far as Honduras and Mexico through her Facebook page, 'Rubi's Success.' The Oklahoma City public school district says elementary education administrators are also aware of Rubi's diagnosis, and have been in contact with Rubi's mom to address their concerns. The district says they will work with Rubi so she is successful in the classroom.
"She's the most important thing to me. I can't even imagine having a life without her. She's my baby," said Chavez.
Chavez says her daughter has been accepted into a research study program at OU. Rubi is only the third child in the study on Brain Stem Glioma.
The Make-A-Wish foundation is sending Rubi and her family to Disney World and Sea World in September. All expenses paid.
If you would like to make a donation on behalf of Rubi Pinon, just go to any First Enterprise Bank and do so under "Rubi's Success Fund."