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Girl begins clinical trial for rare brain tumor

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    Kahaluu, HI (KITV) — A nine-year-old local girl with a life-threatening condition is getting ready to have surgery in New York City.

Doctors diagnosed Cheyleia Gomes of Kahaluu with an aggressive, life-threatening brain tumor called DIPG last year.

After being denied from one trial, Chey’s parents, Rhianna Ramos and Kaipo Gomes, received a call on New Years Day about another clinical trial opening nearly 5,000 miles away from home.

A day later, Cheyleia and her dad boarChey’s mother is expecting a baby any day now and wasn’t able to make the trip.

“Just to hear that your child is in the ICU, and I’m not there, and dad is there. It’s just scary. But with God by our side we know that she’s gonna be ok.” said Ramos.

“After tomorrow, we’re supposed to be here for at least four weeks,” explained Gomes over a FaceTime call from New York. “She’s trying to get us home in one week. If she does good maybe, but the procedure is four weeks after the surgery. They need to assess her and see how it goes.”

Ramos says between her medication and being away from home for the first time, Chey’s been having a tough time.

Something that helped lift her spirits? Going to see horses on Tuesday with a new friend she made in the hospital, a little girl with leukemia.

“The conversation that her and her friend had, it was therapy for them. I guess they have their own way of communicating what they’re going through,” explained Ramos. “It was good because she’s scared for tomorrow, she’s really scared.”

The Gomes are thankful for the community’s support, helping them raise over $126,000 as well as the generous assistance of Jeff Wagoner, President and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group for covering the first two weeks of their hotel expenses in New York.

To help pay for Chey’s medical bills, there’s a fundraiser this Sunday at Bayview Bistro in Kaneohe, happening from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Rebel Souljahz, The Green, Josh Tatofi, Pohaku, and other musicians will be performing.

Tickets are going for $60.

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