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‘Never gave up’: Young, inspirational cancer patient dies after hard-fought battle

It was a heartbreaking day for loved ones of 11-year-old Cheyleia Gomes whose battle with an aggressive brain tumor came to an end Wednesday evening.
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 4:43 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 10:36 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was a heartbreaking day for loved ones of 11-year-old Cheyleia Gomes whose battle with an aggressive brain tumor came to an end Wednesday evening.

“She kept telling me, ‘Mommy. I so tired. Mommy I so tired,’” Cheyleia’s mom Rhianna Ramos said through tears.

“I told her dad, ‘She’s saying she’s tired, she’s tired already.’ We both told her, ‘Chey, you was so amazing. You still doing amazing. You tired, you go sleep. You go rest, Chey. Mommy and daddy and your siblings, we’re gonna be okay and you’ll be with us no matter where you go Cheyleia.’”

The young Kahaluu girl was first diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma tumor, or DIPG, in 2020.

In her final weeks, the family said Cheyleia had a bad reaction to medicine, and also tested positive for COVID-19, further deteriorating her quality of life.

“When I left that hospital the second time, this was my reality and I knew she was going to pass away,” Ramos said.

Since her diagnosis, the family spent thousands of dollars to get her the best possible care for the condition. Her treatment included clinical trials in New York as the disease quickly took over her motor skills.

Throughout her journey, young Cheyleia inspired thousands of people in Hawaii and abroad with her fighting spirit and will to push on. Tributes poured in online since her passing.

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The family says they are thankful for everyone who has donated and supported their mission to find a cure.

“I just want them to remember Cheyleia as one of those fighters that never gave up on nothing — and she did everything with a smile,” Ramos said. “I’m not okay. I will be okay , but I miss my baby. I miss her so much but I can’t be selfish and want her with me when she’s already suffered so much.”

Cheyleia’s funeral is scheduled for Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. at the Valley of the Temples in Windward Oahu. A celebration of life will follow at 2 p.m. A GoFundMe account has been set up for memorial expenses.

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