MACC Fund Special
Milwaukee Girl Fights Brain Cancer
She is bright eyed, mischievous and loves to tell jokes. She is also a fighter. This young Milwaukee girl is defying the odds in the biggest battle of her life. Video by tmj4.comvideo
She is bright eyed, mischievous and loves to tell jokes. She is also a fighter. This young Milwaukee girl is defying the odds in the biggest battle of her life.
Jayla Rodriguez is a beautiful five-year-old with a big personality. In her short life she has already taken on brain cancer and is winning.
This little girl can light up any room. She tried out some of her jokes on us. "Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7, *ate* 9!"
A happy five-year-old, Jayla loved school and was otherwise healthy, until last April.
Her mom, Catherin Torres, remembers, "she had stiffness in her neck. She wasn't able to move back and forth and pain in her arms. We thought that it was like a flu."
And then the gut wrenching diagnosis; Jayla had a rare form of brain cancer, and it was Stage 4. "That blew me away, like four. You can't get worse than that," Torres said.
Surrounded by family, close friends and drawing from their deep faith Jayla and her parents took on this "new life." Jayla endured six weeks of radiation and then chemo to shrink the tumor in her brain.
Jayla's parents draw on her strength. Her father, Antonio Rodriguez, told us, "every day Jayla's just amazing."
Art therapy helped Jayla cope; she loves to create. There have been dark days throughout this journey. "For me just to see her in pain and to see her just have down days where she's saying I'm tired I have to lay down," Torres shared.
But these days Jayla is all smiles. She has big plans as a makeup artist! "Katy Perry, I'm going to do her makeup," Jayla announced.
There is an unbreakable bond between Jayla and her daddy. They both love to laugh and love to make others smile. "I think we bring out the better in one another," Rodriguez commented.
Physically cancer has left it's mark, but it hasn't touched Jayla's spirit. "She's so giving through all of this," Torres told us. "She's always thinking of what can I do to help somebody, what can I do to give to somebody."
A brave little girl whose passion for life can be a lesson for all of us.
Jayla just finished her sixth and final round of chemo. Her last brain scan showed no abnormal activity. Just one of the reasons this family is rejoicing this holiday season.