Comfort Fuels Mozel's Fight

October 3, 2019
Topics: Riley Kid Story, Cancer (oncology), Child Life

Mozel Blog Post 2019

“Positive.” That’s the first word that comes to 14-year-old Mozel Ruvalcaba’s mind when you ask her to describe her personality. “I love the rush of performing,” she says, as she talks about playing violin and performing with her school’s color guard.

Her optimistic outlook became a lifeline last March, when she learned she had Wilms tumor, a cancer that affects the kidney. “At first it was shocking,” says Mozel. “Cancer is such a big word. Just hearing that, my whole life kind of…crumbled.”

Riley Child Life Specialist Melissa Henson swooped in to make Mozel feel as comfortable as possible during several surgeries and procedures. “It was really scary,” says Mozel. “I was freaking out. Melissa was there with me and it made me feel special. She even knew my favorite artist was Shawn Mendes.”

Gifts from Riley Children’s Foundation donors cover more than 75 percent of the funding for Riley’s Child Life Specialists so they can provide support at no cost to families. With surgery and radiation now behind her, Mozel is completing outpatient chemotherapy in South Bend and looking forward to a cancer-free future. “I’m glad I went to a hospital like Riley,” she says. “They are great with kids, especially with calming them down.

Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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