Norman Family Battling Cancer Dealt Another Setback

Thursday, April 4th 2013, 7:47 pm
By: News 9

A Norman family faces a major setback after a driver running from police totaled their truck.

With a bright smile, blowing big bubbles, you'd never know 5-year-old Rheann Franklin is battling brain cancer. Her mom and dad drive more than 90 miles each day going back and forth to from their home in Norman to her treatment center in Edmond.

"It's the financial burdens of the medical bills, the gas bills. I pay $100 a week in gas alone on top of everything else," says Valerie Franklin, Rheann's mother. "It's pretty tough."

It's been tougher for than Franklin family more than usual because on Tuesday, a woman fleeing from Norman police slammed into Rheann's dad's truck on his way home from work.

"The driver lost control and apparently jumped the median in the center of the road and collided with the pickup truck," says Capt. Tom Easley of the Norman Police Department.

Easley says 25-year-old Ashley Robison sped from police after a routine traffic stop near Norman North High School before crashing into the Franklin's truck at Rock Creek Rd. and Flood Ave.

"I think the driver knew she had warrants. She didn't want to go to jail and she panicked," Easley said. "It's the worst thing you can do is panic because it puts a lot of people at risk."

Gary Franklin, Rheann's father, is sore but is doing fine. Robison was sent to Cleveland County Jail while Franklin's car was sent to a junkyard, totaled. This leaves the family of five to rely on their old van with close to 200,000 miles on it to get Rheann to radiation.

"It's hard with five people, one car," Valerie Franklin says. "Transportation is what we really need because I love my husband, but getting up at 6 o' clock in the morning to drive him to work, is not a lot of fun."

So while the Franklins struggle to get to work and get their three children around town, Rheann keeps on fighting.

"Fight like a princess." Rheann says as she blows bubbles on the porch with her mom after spending hours at ProCure Proton therapy center.

Her mom says Rheann was diagnosed with undifferentiated brain sarcoma last October and needs about 20 more cancer treatments.

"With all that's going, oh my goodness, not now," says Valerie Franklin. "We didn't need anything else to go wrong now, but we're thankful for what we do have."

If you would like to help the Franklin family, they have an account set up at Communication Federal Credit Union under the "Rheann Franklin Fund."