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Back from clinical trial, girl with brain tumor prepares to celebrate big milestone

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:33 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Cheyleia Gomes, a 10-year-old girl who is battling an aggressive brain tumor, is back home on Oahu after taking part in a clinical trial in New York.

This is the first time Cheyleia has been home in six months.

Her mother, Rhianna Ramos, says her daughter’s experimental treatments were cut short because of health complications with another participant.

“It was really hard to swallow,” said Ramos. “You’re basically telling me to go home and if things happen, then things happen. Chey’s just a fighter. She’s not going to give up.”

Ramos says ending the trial at Columbia University Irving Medical Center was devastating.

She says the treatments have kept Cheyleia’s tumor stable, and she has seen small but significant improvements in her daughter since.

“She can move her arm, she can move her leg now. Just like that she started talking, she started sitting up, her eyes were opening. Just a lot of stuff that was big to us,” Ramos said.

Loved ones and supporters celebrated Cheyleia’s homecoming on Wednesday with signs and cheering. But even in the comfort of home, the unknown still weighs heavy.

“This morning (Chey) started crying and she was like, ‘I’m not ready to go to heaven.’ And I said, ‘Chey, it’s going to be OK,’” said Ramos.

Next month marks a very special milestone — Cheyleia’s 11th birthday.

It’s a date Ramos was told her daughter would never see. Cheyleia says her grandfather is planning a drive-by birthday celebration with motorcycles and big trucks.

Until then, the family says there is a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving.

“My daughter is still here and she’s still fighting, and we’re all together for the holidays,” Ramos said.

Ramos says they’re trying to get into another clinical trial — this time in California. The family is still accepting donations to help cover medical expenses.

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