This essay was written by Andrew Herlihy. There are no words to express our gratitude towards Herlihy family, they were our neighbors in Roosevelt Island!

Andrew Herlihy                                         Homework#19
Class#602                                              10/19/12

“Blink of an Eye”

    It was black outside, and the white lights were on. It was quiet, and peaceful, the warmth was just a plus to the already perfect night.  I love it outside when it’s like this, because it looks like I live in space. On that fine night on Roosevelt Island, my mom and I went on a stroll with our curly haired, white and brown dog. When we got outside we realized there was a red van at the bottom of the hill. I was pondering on why there was a car, because that’s were I used to live. No one lived there for about three years, and now all of a sudden someone just scoots on in? I was intrigued to discover who it was. As we started down to the bottom of the hill, I was trying to solve whom it could it be. Could it be a nice old couple, a mean old couple, or maybe even a big family like mine? I guess I would uncover who it was at any moment.  
    As we approached the bottom of the hill, I depicted a familiar figure, that spiky hair was so unique, then it hit me like a rocket, it couldn’t be him though, no way, no how. I just had to be assured who it was,
“Maximo is that you? It’s Andrew, from school,”
“Yah?” he informed me in a confident tone.
I knew it, that spiky hair can’t be mistaken. He emerged from his car as a black siluete that was casted by the night’s darkness,”Whats up man?” I questioned as the thoughts about him moving here, and his family scurries around my head.
We lock hands and pull away softly but quick. Meanwhile I don’t really know him that well. I know his name only because in kickball everyone shouted it was his turn. We also kind of recall bashing into each other during recess. It was then to my surprise more of his family popped out of the car! I had know idea he had two brothers and a sister, and a DOG  named  Companita. The two brothers are Gustavo and Gerardo, Gustavo is the youngest and has spiky hair like Maximo, and is skinny. Gerardo is stocky and strong, and his hair is a buzz cut. Valeria, the sister, has short, brown hair that lays gently on her shoulders, and she had an amazing smile. Companita is a super small black chiwauwha. My mom then turns around from her stroll with Ricky, and so does his mom and dad, although they weren’t walking their dog. My mom then introduces herself right away, that’s my mom, always urgent to meet new people, *”Hello I’m Patrice,” and then finally I encounter his parents, Nayda, and Gerardo. Nayda has dirty blond hair and is sweet. Gerardo was bald and strong, he is a runner, and is a funny guy. I soon learned they’re Puerto Rican , which I think is really cool, because they speak Spanish and English. I’ve always wanted to speak two languages.
After that night I became very familiar with their family. I also soon was informed that Maximo’s sister had cancer! My heart ached for them because it must be really tough, and I also felt sorrow for Valeria the most, but when we became good friends with the family, it was like everything bad faded as if it were by magic, and Valeria having cancer was just a fACT to us and and the family, and that would result in having more fun with the family, because we would put everything aside, and focused on each other.
We would always take a crack at speaking Spanish together, or enjoy a game of Uno with each other. We also feed Companita some peanut butter and watching her try to eat it which was hilarious. I loved when we did those things, it was as if we had known each other our whole lives.  
Having this relationship with this family is an amazing one, and then because of them is how  I got into CandleLighters NYC,   and encountered this woman named Barbara Zobian, Barbara is short and blond, and a force to be dealt with,. CandleLighters NYC is a foundation that works with kids who have cancer and their families, and that’s how Maximo’s family knows Barbara, because Valeria had cancer. When I first met Barbara at Valeria’s memorial  she was so nice and I felt like I wanted to keep helping her cause. Barbara actually is the president of Candlelighters NYC, and what she does for these families is so amazing, just the comfort and love she provides for these families is tremendous. I then became very friendly with Barbara, and now I am an official volunteer for CandleLighters NYC as well as my mom. My mom is partly the organizer for Barbara and she mainly organizes Barbara’s closet of toys and knick-knacks for the children.
Once a year CandleLighters NYC host this annual event around the time of Saint Patrick’s Day, and it’s called Saint Baldricks. It’s an event that raises money to find cures for childhood cancer. There’s lots of green, and hair on the floor, some of the hair is mine, and I’m proud of that, it takes place at the Central Park Boathouse and there’s a giant ugly doll, the kids amazingly have a mini war with it. There’s also lots of food, and its delicious. We shave our heads because it means we stand strong with children with cancer that have to loose their hair to the disease and we are united, kind of like a big family. I’ve been shaving for three years now, and he first time I raised almost 500 dollars!      
Over these years Valeria did good and bad in the fight against cancer, but that one night, that crystal clear night, was scary. “Weoo weoo weoo!” Went the ambulance, on the hill outside our door, and as soon as I heard it I knew exactly what was happening, “Valeria, Valeria, Valeria,” The thumping almost hurt, I sprinted into the living room, and I assume my mom was thinking the same thing, because my mom was also sprinting out the door too, then my mom noticed me and bellowed,
“Andrew, go back to bed!” then I sternly replied “But-” I then froze in my tracks and shuffled slowly back to bed. The next morning I questioned my mom “what happened?” my whole family was on edge and sick to they’re stomach, she then replied she was still alive, but the problem was that Valeria aspirated. Which means the fluid in her feeding tube was redirected into her lungs, instead of her stomach. Valeria never returned from the hospital after that night. The next two days faded, and my mom returns home with a look on her face. I instantly become on the brink of whaling, my mom then begins to murmur,
“Um Va-Valeria died” I dropped down and whaled. In a blink of an eye, Valeria was here and in a blink of an eye she was gone.

Valeria’s death had such an impact on our family and of course her family. Valeria just had the brightest spirit, and her soul still lies in my heart today. Valeria was funny, nice, caring, loving and many other things. She just never thought about herself and was always thinking about other people. She was so patient, and I learned so much from her.

Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 2nd Birthday at Heaven

‎'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Rev 3:21. 

Only the promises of His Word keeps me up! Valeria I have no doubt that you are sharing the throne of VICTORY with the Father. I just live with the hope that I can reach that too..so once again we can be together sharing His glory. 

Enjoy your well deserved peace with the confidence we will be eternally together... I will no risk for nothing HIS promise of ETERNAL LOVE..  I miss you SO MUCH, I'm just trying to live as you taught me... SMILING! So no matter the pain, my hope on the power of JESUS is stronger than anything.  Maybe some people ask, why you left even with your faith...for those I can tell: She accomplished her purpose in live a MISSION OF LOVE,  she is better than any of us in Earth..and NOW she is ETERNAL...poor of us that need to deal with every day suffering, because life is a no end battle of decisions between what I can do and what I should do.  Valeria and me decided for "What should we do"  and no matter my tears, I'm convinced she is happier than ever.  She can't feel my pain, otherwise the God's Word are a lie when He said that we won't suffer on Heaven.  She has no calendar as we do, she has no time to count, she has the peace, love and good memories.  She knows I'm not there, but having no time measurements she feels that like nothing; thousands years may be a second... I'm the one who has a stupid calendar that reminds me every second that she is not with me...  I can't lie to all of you...THIS IS HARD, but once I get deeper on God promise and let the people around me express their love, I feel better and keep going.  I see around and count all my other blessings too!  My sons, my husband, my family, my health, etc..  

Included is the link of a video that our friends of MontclairKimberly Academy made to honor Valeria's journey with them... hope you enjoy and learn from it as much as I did...    VIDEO:  http://youtu.be/IHrLU0PBQYE

Love you Valeria...LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU!!!!!   HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!..See you at Heaven...

Your eternal mom, Nayda

PS... A good friend told me to make crepes to your brothers and enjoy it..so I wil do it now! :) 

Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 1st Birthday at Heaven 

Hola Valeria…

     ¡Ojala te hagan llegar esta carta al cielo!   Primero que nada, FELICIDADES en tu Primer Cumpleaños CELESTIAL!! Si, recuerdas? Fue un día como hoy que te fuiste con Jesús a gozar de su Promesa de Vida Eterna. 

Te hice este video de regalo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzEEjAyDIjM

Recuerdo muy bien hace un año atrás…. Estabas bien débil, ya llevabas casi 2 meses en cama y cerca de un mes y medio sin poder decir una palabra.  Ya no era un solo tumor lo que te afectaba, ahora eran 4 tumores en el cerebro que te impedían tus movimientos.  Pero nunca limitó tu comunicación: expresabas con tus manos, tu mirada, tu rostro y acertabas o dejabas saber que no, ya sea con tu mano izquierda o tu pierna izquierda.  Y a pesar de todo esto siempre con una SONRISA.  Son tantos los recuerdos de esos últimos días juntas y todos tan intensos!  Dios nos permitió vivir nuestro amor de manera única y tuvo detalles exquisitos con nosotros. 

Fue a finales de Agosto que mas señales distes de debilitamiento y aun así pasamos unas vacaciones de una semana inolvidable en Puerto Rico con la Familia Herlihy, de 6 hijos, y la Fam. Wong, de 2 hijos, nuestros vecinos en NY.  Todos nos quedamos en nuestra casa de PR…que rico la pasamos!  Fue tu despedida de la Isla…ya no regresaste hasta tu funeral. Pero sin importar lo que nuestros ojos veían, seguíamos esperanzados y con Fe de que Dios estaba en Control. A tu regreso a NY cogiste una semana adicional de Quimioterapia y Dios nos regalo la oportunidad de pasar 5 días mas en familia en Camp Sunshine, y guiamos 6 horas con papa y tus hermanos hasta Maine.  Wow! Como gozaste en la piscina y dando paseos en la canoa por el lago con Papa…nada te detenía.  Me dijiste que lo más que te agradaba era que no eras la única diferente, pues el campamento era para pacientes de tumor cerebral y sus padres y hermanos.  Así que te dispusiste a gozarlo y a compartir con nosotros de manera especial. La ultima noche papa se atrevió a hacer el ridículo trepándose en la tarima para cantarte (pero eso si, de su corazón) la canción HEROE de Enrique Iglesias.  El no canta tan lindo como tu, pero hay que darle mérito..se atrevió! Ja Ja A ambas se nos salieron las lagrimas pues sabíamos lo que el estaba sintiendo…el hubiera dado su vida por ser tu HEROE.  Y se que así tu lo veías, como tu héroe terrenal. Luego, para no quedarme atrás tambien subi a la tarima pero contigo y cantamos la cancion de Cindy Lauper: Time After Time.  La letra dice:

“Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick, 
and think of you 
caught up in circles confusion-- 
is nothing new 
Flashback--warm nights-- 
almost left behind 
suitcases of memories, 
time after-- 

sometimes you picture me-- 
I'm walking too far ahead 
you're calling to me, I can't hear 
what you've said-- 
Then you say--go slow-- 
I fall behind-- 
the second hand unwinds 

if you're lost you can look--and you will find me 
time after time 
if you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting 
time after time”

Que ironías tiene la vida era como un mensaje de cómo me iba a sentir en muy poco tiempo pues mientras cantábamos noté que tu acostumbrada bella voz estaba afectada y no podías cantar como hace apenas una semana.  Yo sabía dentro de mi lo que ocurría pero me negaba a confirmarlo en mi corazón. Definitivamente el tumor del cerebelo continuaba creciendo. Pero una vez más, terminamos de cantar y las dos, cual buenas hipócritas protectoras, nos miramos y nos dimos una gran SONRISA para no herirnos una a la otra. Pero ambas sabíamos que no estabas bien. Regresamos a NY y te hicieron un MRI y la sospecha fue confirmada….que sabor amargo. Me desgarraba el alma.  Pero sabía que Dios estaba con nosotros como lo estuvo por todos estos cinco años.  Aunque era más real tu deterioro yo sabia que Dios podía hacer el milagro, sin importar circunstancias. A través del tiempo le oraba fervientemente y le hablaba como se le habla a un Padre y le decía “ Señor, no soy digna de que cures a mi hija, Valeria, pero una palabra tuya solo será suficiente para sanarla”. Te cuento que  en Marzo del 2005 cuando me dijeron que tenias el tumor y salimos para NY sin pensarlo dos veces, le oré diciendole “ Dios, según Abraham te escucho y ofreció en sacrificio a su hijo y tu lo libraste por su Fe, así te entrego yo hoy a mi hija, Valeria. Es tuya, pero por favor no me la dejes nunca sufrir”    Si, mi princesa, al fin puedo decírtelo, Dios fue fiel en todo momento y no permitió que sufrieras y aun cuando los médicos de 4 hospitales te daban en el 2005 solo 8 mese de vida, Dios se plació en dejarte un rato más con nosotros…te dejó por cinco (5) años!!!  Y que 5 años!!  Fueron 5 años de tratamiento ininterrumpido pero NO NOS INTERRUMPIO LA VIDA..por el contrario.  Tu viste que bien la pasabamos en el Ronald McDonald House, donde dormiamos los 6 en un cuarto, como de hotel, sin problema y eso nos obligo a compartir TODO! Ahí estuvimos 20 meses y te gozaste la mudanza a un apartamento en la Calle 78, aun pequeñito pero de igual era NUESTRO HOGAR y te pudimos traer a Campanita, tu perrita consentida. Que feliz te hizo!  Y que tal los juegos de pelota de tus hermanos, las salidas al parque, la escapaditas a Tasty D’Light, las pizzas de Fat Sal’s, la mitad de una dona glaciada, las horas viendo Hanna Montana, los juegos de Karaoke y los grandes torneos jugando cartas UNO.  Recuerdas los fines de semana de invierno que no queríamos salir a ningún lado y terminábamos quedándonos en pijamas desde viernes hasta domingo y todo lo pedíamos delivery…que bendición el haber podido gozarnos.  GRACIAS por haberte dejado amar y amarnos tanto.

Luego de esa mala noticia de los resultados del MRI, papá y yo tuvimos varias reuniones con los doctores buscando opciones de tratamiento, pero nada aparecia. Fue frustrante ver como te debilitabas ante nuestros ojos y sin poder ayudarte a sanar.  Mientras tu con tu dulce SONRISA y mirada nos inyectabas animo para seguir. De ahí los doctores decidieron operarte para ponerte un “shunt”…de verdad que no quiero ni recordar pues tu si tenias anestesia, pero yo no y con solo verte me dolia el alma.  Tanto cable, tantas heridas, pero tu salias cantando de la anestesia canciones de Calveti y de Orellana como si nada pasara.  Ya ahí comenzaste a perder mas la voz.  Te dieron de alta el 8 de octubre, el día del cumpleaños de tu hermanito, Máximo. Y pudiste poco a poco cantarle Happy Birthday.  Este año el se recordó de ese momento y mencionó que ese dia fue la ultima vez que te comiste tu mantecado de soya. A mi se me salieron la lagrimas pues creía que tus hermanos no estaban tan pendientes, pero me equivoqué.  De ahí pasamos varios dias en casa y otros pocos en el hospital…cada vez los doctores nos preparaban mas para lo que no queríamos aceptar. Fue ahí que nos te dieron el servicio de Hospicio en el Hogar.  Ahora solo eran enfermeras y doctores que no conociamos ayudandonos hasta que llegara el dia que Dios te llamara…pero yo aun creyéndole a nuestro Dios que podia hacer el milagro.  Hasta que un dia salio de mi corazon una oracion de hija desesperada pero consciente de quien es mi Padre y de quien tiene la autoridad, y le dije en mis palabras “Padre, ten misericordia, sana a mi hija, quita de ella y de nosotros este cáliz pero, que se haga Tu voluntad según tu propósito”  En ese momento, mi PRINCESA, sentí que te mentía y te pido perdón, pues aun después de haber derramado mi corazón a Dios, iba junto a ti y te decía que tuvieras Fe que todo iba a estar bien.  Lo que nunca sabré hasta que vuelva a verte es si tu entendías que yo jugaba con las palabras, pues “estar bien” podría ser tanto tener tu milagro de sanación, o como morir y  obtener la promesa de salvación y resurrección.

Ya a este punto nos comunicábamos por señas o señalabas las posibles contestaciones en la pizarrita. En Octubre 26 a las 11:50 de la noche tuviste convulsiones y estábamos en el hospital y te hicieron un CT Scan porque no respondías, habias tenido una hemorragia dentro del cerebelo, aparentemente el tumor “exploto” dentro. Los doctores y enfermeras se alarmaron muchísimo y me dijeron que llamara a todos los familiares, pues era cuestión de horas.  Llegaron hasta nuestros Pastores, Tito y Maritza desde New Jersey. El 27 de Octubre es el cumpleaños de Gerardito, pues le ore a Dios pidiéndole que te llevara cuando El quisiera pero no en ese momento, pues no quería que su día fuera marcado por tu partida al Cielo. Y así comenzamos a orar y como a las cuatro (4) horas moviste un poco los dedos, abriste los ojos y MILAGROSAMENTE pudiste decir “MAMA, TE AMO”.  Todos comenzamos a alabar a Dios y darle gracias aunque desconocíamos que podría pasar.  Esa fue la ULTIMA vez que me dijiste con Palabras “Mama, te amo”, aunque no fue la ultima vez con tu mirada y sonrisa.  Valeria, te escribo todo esto mas que para que tu sepas todos los detalles, es mas para desahogarme y quitarme el nudo que llevo en mi corazón. YA paso un ano desde que partiste y necesitaba escribirte todo esto. Aunque desde el 21 de Octubre en la madrugada ya tu sabias lo que ocurría al 100%.  Después de dialogarlo con seres especiales, tome la decisión de despedirnos. Se que tu no querías que te hablara de eso y te pregunte que si tenias miedo.  Yo te dije que yo tenía miedo, pues no sabia que, ni cuando iba a ocurrir, pero que sabia que iba a poder estar bien.  Pero yo necesitaba saber si tu estabas lista para agarrarle la mano a JESUS cuando El te extendiera la Suya. Tardaste varios segundos en contestarme y me viraste la cara, pero acto seguido me miraste fijo a los ojos y con tu mano, pierna y mirada me confirmaste que SI, que estabas lista.  Esas lagrimas que botamos y ese abrazo aun lo llevo fresco en mi memoria como si hubiese sido ayer, pues es lo que me da paz cuando pienso que ya no estas….al final NO TE MENTI…y fuiste mas sabia que nadie!!!

Dios premió tanto tu acto de amor y aceptación que nos regalo casi un mes más juntitas…entre hospital y el apartamento pero JUNTAS cada minuto. Con gusto te bañaba, te cambiaba el panal (aunque me imagino que hubieras preferido que eso no fuera necesario), te daba la comida, veíamos TV, te arreglaba las uñas, de todo para que estuvieras cómoda. Y que rico que en todo momento tus hermanos también compartieron contigo.  Sabes?  Ellos te extrañan muchísimo y te mencionamos cada día innumerables veces.

Pasaron los días y dormías cada vez más.  Ya los doctores a este punto nos habían confirmado que tenias 4 tumores…tu nunca lo supiste y menos aun porque Dios fue TAN MISERICORDIOSO Y FIEL que cumplió con su palabra de NO DEJARTE SUFRIR.  Aun con los 4 tumores en la cabeza TU NO TENIAS PRESION, e incluso hasta te recetaron morfina pero no hubo que dártela. Tus vitales, presión, etc…nunca mostraron que tuvieras presión o dolor de cabeza….QUIEN QUIERA QUE SEPA DE MEDICINA PUEDE TESTIFICAR QUE DIOS TE CUIDO COMO A “LA NIÑA DE SUS OJOS” en todo momento.  Y si ese cuidado lo tuvo acá en la Tierra, me imagino lo bien que El te tiene que tener en el CIELO!!!!

Pero el tiempo Terrenal NO ES ETERNO…y llego Noviembre 19, 2009.  Quizás a este punto no recuerdes muchos detalles pues llevabas cerca de 12 sin responder activamente, aunque el doctor nos aseguro que podías escuchar.  El cuarto estaba lleno de familia de PR y amistades de NY y en eso llegaron nuestros Pastores y yo le pedí que como no nos pudimos bautizar en las aguas en Julio que porque no nos bautizaba a Valeria y a mi en ese momento ya que estabamos pendientes por poder hacerlo…Qué nos impidia?  Fue cuando comenzamos la ceremonia del bautismo y yo te puse entre mis brazos y NOS BAUTIZARON en total consciencia reconociendo a Nuestro Señor Jesucristo como nuestro UNICO SALVADOR….Ahí COMPLETASTE TU PROPOSITO EN VIDA TERRENAL!  No tengo duda que Dios nos regalo ese mes adicional hasta que pudiéramos dar este paso.  Valeria, mi princesa, GRACIAS POR HABERTE DEJADO USAR PARA LLEVARME A LOS CAMINOS DE JESUS DE FORMA INTIMA..TAN INTIMA QUE NO DUDE EN ENTREGARTE A TI, PUES SE QUE EL TE CUIDA.

Todos se fueron y en la noche tarde regresaron los Pastores y estuvieron un buen rato hablando con Papa, con mi tía y con nosotras y yo me había metido en la cama contigo detrás de ti y tu recostado sobre mi pecho. Que paz sentimos!  Ya a las 12:50am del 20 de Noviembre de 2009, me salí de la cama y fui a buscar un cereal pues no había almorzado, cuando Papa va corriendo donde mi y me dice corre que la respiración le esta parando…corrí como una demente por el pasillo hasta el cuarto y efectivamente estabas con mucha dificultad para respirar, tratamos de hacerte responder pero los números en las maquina continuaban bajando.  Fue cuando me acerqué a tu oido y te dije “MAMITA SI ESTAS VIENDO A JESUS AGARRALE SU MANO, MAMITA SI ESTAS VIENDO A JESUS AGARRALE SU MANO” Sorprendentemente ABRISTES TUS OJOS, MOVIENDOLOS PARA MI LADO, sin tener las pupilas dilatadas ME MIRASTE DIRECTO A MIS OJOS, botaste una lagrima y los volviste a cerrar a la vez que dejaste de respirar.  TODO FUE CON TANTA PAZ QUE YO NO LO PODIA CREER!!  Entraron doctores corriendo, etc...pero solo pudieron confirmar que te habias ido a las 12:54am.  Lo único que se me ocurrió decir fue “And, this is it?, This is it?”  Me quede preguntando si eso era todo por unos minutos, pues con la calma que todo ocurrió no podía captar que te habías ido.  Papa me miró, me abrazo y me dijo” Nayda, no fue en 2005, no fue en el 2006, no fue en el 2007, no fue en el 2008, fue en el 2009, no cunado los doctores dijeron, solo cuando Dios quiso” y fue ahí que caí en mi y lloré.

Valeria, mi hija amada, te escribí esta carta para que sepas que nunca dudamos de que fueras fiel digna de haber recibido tu MILAGRO terrenal, pero Dios tenia mejores planes para ti y mas abarcadores…LA VIDA ETERNA! Si en la Tierra tocaste gentes, no quieras imaginar cuantas con tu ejemplo y virtudes estas llevando a los pies del Señor y ayudándolos a entender su propósito en esta VIDA. De nosotros no te preocupes, pues será cuestión de tiempo que nos verás contigo en el CIELO. 

Espero que tu mejor regalo de tu PRIMER CUMPLEAÑOS CELESTIAL haya sido ver a Dios a su rostro y recibir su abrazo..continua gozando de lo que BIEN MERECIDO OBTUVISTE, La Vida Eterna.

¡Bendiciones! ¡Hasta pronto!

Te amo,


PS. Ahí te hice este video de regalo:


Este es el Link:  http://valeriareyes.com/Guestbook_1.php

OCTOBER 11, 2010
A good friend of Valeria wrote this for a school work...her name is Illiana and was one of Valeria's best friend...you need to read this, definetly will give you a good sense of what Valeria inspired to others  and especially what the others gave to Valeria and us as a family...

Hero Journey Project      
BY: Illiana Wong        Hero: Valeria Reyes   


Month 1: “The month we met Valeria”

              When Valeria’s family moved in Danielle and I went to welcome the family to our little island. Valeria’s mom was in the kitchen cooking, her dad was unpacking boxes, her 3 brothers were playing the PS2, and Valeria was watching TV. We then ended up watching a movie and eating dinner with Valeria. Her brothers were making so much noise it felt like an earthquake. The next day we went back to hang out with our new friend! We played sing it on the WII. Sing it was a sing along game with different songs on it. At that time we found out that Valeria LOVED Hannah Montana.  It felt great to know that we had a friend that was just like us. Nayda (Valeria’s mom) told Danielle and my mother that Valeria had cancer. She said that Valeria was going to be in and out of the hospital doing treatment, but that didn’t change the way I saw her in any way.

I had a feeling that Nayda was so happy that we came to the door that first day they moved in. Valeria couldn’t really go outside all the time or do a lot of the things that we did, because of that she never really met friends. Danielle and I were her only close friends she had that were her age outside the hospital life.  Nayda had explained to us what was happening and told us that Valeria had 8 months left before it was the end. She told us not to give up and to always have faith. 
Month 2: “Knowing more about Viva”  
       Getting to know more about Viva and how she was feeling. I then would think about how our friend ship was getting to sound like a Hannah Montana song The Climb. “There is always going to be another mountain, I am always going to want to make it move, there is always going to be an uphill battle, sometimes I going to have to loose, it aint about how fast I get there, it aint about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s The Climb.” Even though Viva was the one who had the cancer we were going to take the climb together like best friends and I was never going to give up no matter what.

 Month 3: “A treatment won’t stop us from visiting”

              Valeria was in the hospital doing treatment and couldn’t go home. Since she couldn’t see us then we had to go see her. Valeria really like the Chinese food from a little place on the island, so we would bring her some when we would go see her. The first time we went to the hospital with Danielle we didn’t know what to expect. I would have thought that there would be one bed after another but no.  It wasn’t like that at all. She had her own room in her own bed with wires sticking into machines. It was calm. I felt bad for her at times she was stuck to the bed connected to wires like a little puppet. I’m guessing it was a challenge for all of us to learn why this was happening. Doctors would walk in and out of the room and us not knowing why they were asking her so many questions. To us it felt like a never ending nightmare of Jeopardy. Even though she might have been in pain she made us happy by keeping that smile on her face. She would look at us with those never ending eyelashes it was fun to have her around.

Month 4: “It can’t be the end, we can’t give up. Have faith.”

              At one point in our journey Valeria started going down. So they then took her to see a doctor. After a week of doctors of keeping her in the hospital they told us more about what was happening. He said that after looking at the MRIs that the tumor seemed to be getting bigger. It wasn’t such a great thing. Danielle and I didn’t know what to expect. I just started to think is it the end? It can’t be. I would think of her night and day hoping that she would feel better and go back to normal. The doctors would say that she had less and less time. It felt like the world was getting smaller and smaller. Nayda had once taken us out of the room when we went to visit after school. She told us what the doctors have been saying and how we should never give up to always have faith and stay positive. To say and think that it was all going to be fine. There was nothing to worry about. Well she was right. One day Viva just got better and since it felt like a last minute thing to everyone the doctors did more test. After the test they said that she made a great recovery and that she would have more time than they thought. She was then able to come home and we were all so happy to see her up and running like one of those shooting stars.  We had gone home that night giving her time to rest. In no time we were all three of us back again singing and dancing to Hannah Montana songs. It felt like the time of a life time to us.

Month 5: “We’re all in this together.”

              Valeria was getting better and better, she was up and moving around, dancing, singing, and most of all having fun.  It was all because we all had faith. I felt that because we had faith she did too. She believed that she would be able to get better and she did. One day Valeria had asked Danielle’s and my family to go spend a week in Puerto Rico with her and her family. I was so happy I wanted to go so bad. We had quickly called our parents. It looked like Valeria was able to do anything.  Sooner then I knew it she got so much better week by week.  Our parents finally said yes to go to Puerto Rico. By the time we went to PR she was so happy, she felt good. I think that she was happy that she finally able to invite her friends over for a sleepover instead of her coming to us. It was nice to see that smile on her face again

Month 6: “Go ahead try, you can do it.”

              It was about a week since we left for PR and so we went to the beach to enjoy the last day. It was a hidden beach so we were alone. When you went into the water the sand and water made a whole. Viva was kind of scared to go in because the waves were stronger then her and she didn’t want to get pushed in. Danielle and I would try to encourage her to try getting into the water slowly when the waves would go down. She hesitated but the waves suddenly calmed down and she finally went in without hesitating. She was happy she swam around proud of her self knowing she was able to do it. Viva did it!

Month 7: “Even if you aren’t here, we are.”

              This was a long battle for all of us. Valeria didn’t do too well and started feeling lousy. They took her in again to get more MRIs. I thought that because we all had faith last time and she was fine it would be fine this time. The doctors would say that the tumor was bleeding and getting bigger. At one point the tumor stopped bleeding and still it was getting bigger. Viva was slowing down. She wouldn’t feel like talking so she would answer with her hand. If her hand went up then it was yes and if not it meant no. The doctors would see Viva shutting down slowly and would say that they didn’t know what would happen next.  It could have been a matter of weeks, days, or even hours they didn’t know. Viva one day closed her eyes she was still breathing but didn’t respond, she did listen though and I knew it. It lasted almost a week. November 20,2009 at 12:00am whoever it was switched off that last switch.  I wasn’t there when it happened but it was hard. Even though it felt like we didn’t win the battle, we did. We did it together. That same day at school I started to cry. It felt like a timer that ran out of time. I then thought of that smile of hers and thought, she wouldn’t want me to cry. That would make me break my promise, to have faith.

Month 8: “we defiantly didn’t lose.”

Even though she wasn’t there we won and we won together, that’s what matters.  The gift that I will always remember is her smile. I learned that Smiles Make Miracles,” Sonrisas Hacen Milagros!” there are things in life where you have to get up and move on. That’s how life goes. I will never forget how one girl became a hero and changed my life. Thank you Valeria!

What a beautiful day!! My Princess, today was the day God selected to send you to this world... Thanks for letting me being your mother, thanks for making my experience so easy...you are the best! Love you and miss you so much, but I know we will meet again on HEAVEN (i'm working hard on that :) )

I wish you could see the video I prepared for you... I enjoyed so much preparing it...time went fast but my memories with you are ETERNAL...do not fit in a calendar!!

January 6, 2010 update:
The Memorial Service in New York for our daughter, Valeria Reyes will be held on Thursday, January 14, 2010 from 7pm to 8pm at the Good Shepherd Church of Roosevelt Island.  We are moving back to Puerto Rico on January 16 and therefore we are hoping to see you all there. Thank You for all your love and support during this journey!! God bless! The Reyes Family.   

For directions click here!  

We are celebrating Valeria's LIFE for that reason we will love to see you in Pink or Light Blue or other bright colors clothes during the Memorial Service.

November 25, 2009- Update:

Time & Date:
Friday, November 27 -

Wake starting at 10:00am
During the day several chorus will attend and we will have the special visit of the Christian singer, Roberto Orellana any time between 5 to 7 pm. 
Service will be from 7 to 8:30 pm.
 Funeral home will be open until 11pm.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Service will start at 11:45am 
Funeral Home will open at 10am
We will drive to the Cemetery "Los Cipreses" at 1:30pm for burial service.



Carr 167 Bayamon Ave. Comerio

Bayamon, PR

                    Teléfono: (787) 785-0221, (787) 785-3400

We are celebrating Valeria's LIFE for that reason we will love to see you in Pink or Light Blue clothes during the funeral and burial services...

November 24, 2009

Valeria's Funeral Services will in Puerto Rico next Friday and Saturday, November 27 & 28.

And we will have a Memorial Ceremony in New York in December to share with all our friends that can not be present in Puerto Rico.  Our hearts are divided in to places with many wonderful people around us...God bless you for that!!!

Thanks for your prayers and support...see you soon!

The Reyes Fam.

Friday, November 20, 2009 12:56 AM, CST

The young girl who inspired us SO MUCH LOVE is with the ANGELS in HEAVEN!!!
Valeria is with OUR LORD, JESUS.... she left us in incredible PEACE!!

A Big hug!
Reyes Fam.
PS Details to follow.   

La jovencita que nos ha inspirado todo el AMOR del MUNDO se ha unido al coro de ANGELES CELESTIALES....

Valeria esta con NUESTRO SENOR JESUCRISTO....su partida fue indescriptiblemente en PAZ...

Un fuerte abrazo.... 
Fam Reyes

2009-10-01 We apologize for not updating this page in ENGLISH(time is so limited), but if you can read Spanish or know how to use "Google translate" then you can see all the current update at the Journal Section of this  website:  
Please keep praying....

2009-09-12 EMAIL for JOURNAL UPDATES...  Due to respect of Valeria's privacy we had to stop updating this page for now.  BUT if you still want to know VALERIA's JOURNAL please send an email to ValeriaReyesJournal@gmail.com with your name on subject. (no text on body is needed) so we can send you an email with all the updates.  Thanks for your prayers... we still fighting!!! God bless, NAYDA

2009-07-20 We still fighting!! Soon I will post a summary of what happened since the last update, meanwhile...   Tomorrow morning another surgery to Valeria... they need to remove the port inmediate b'cause is infected and then on Monday will have a second surgery to put a new one in another area.. Almost unbelievable, but here we are,,,,NEVER SURRENDER, is not an OPTION!! Plese keep praying for Dr's wisdom and Valeria's strengh...THANKS! For more updated info (but in spanish) visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/valeria. 

As same as 2007 Valeria had her birthday inpatient at the hospital...to see pictures athttp://picasaweb.google.com/naydar/20090714ValeriaSBirthday12#

You can write a B'day message in the Guestbook tab....

2008-12-25 Merry Christmas! Finally I write! A lot of things occurred since the last up-date. I'll summarize it, but if you can read Spanish you may go to the Journal section atwww.caringbridge.org/visit/valeria and read all the details since September 2008...

During September after our visit to PR everything went good.. school, hospital and even work. But on October 3rd Valeria's doctors gave us the last MRI results... " they saw a new spot  in the brain"  They were not sure if was another tumor or a lesion or scar from the radiation.  So they did on Oct 9 a Lumbar Punctual Procedure - get liquid from the Spine- and Thanks God came negative to cancer cells. (Click her for pictures) Then on October 16, Valeria had a biopsy at NYU hospital (click her for more pictures). It was confirmed...it is a new tumor on the cerebellum area.  We were in shock! She looked so good! We will never tell.. but it was there and we had to face it! On November 10 after many appointments and dr discussions we decided to start a new trial medicine.  Valeria was in an experimental medication for 37 months, August 2005 to September 2008. And the tumor shrunk in size in the first six months but it was stable since January 2006! During the period of Sept 29 '08 to November 6 she was in NO MEDICATION and and MRI showed that the tumor stayed stable..Wonderful NEWS! but the new tumor grew a little.  So we started the new treatment and she is feeling great...no vomit, no nausea, good appetite, good activity levels, etc... Also she continued twice a week with the occupational and physical therapy for her leg and arm weakness.  After completing 6 weeks on this new medication we had the routine MRI and......GREAT NEWS! The original tumor reduced 10% and the new one kept stable!!!! That was one week before Christmas...so JESUS gave us the best Christmas gift!! Now she needs to continue the experimental treatment and have an MRI each 6 weeks!

Meanwhile a lot of beautiful things and beautiful people had being around us:

Montclaire Kimberly Academy - Girls Volleyball Team adopted Valeria with the sponsoring of the "Friends of Jaclyn Foundation" - I invite you to know nore about this foundation that is only about love, friendship and share...http://www.friendsofjaclyn.org  Click here for see pictures of different occasions: 1. when they met Valeria and gave Valeria the jersey from the MKA TEAM...was a very special moment   2. Nov 7 Valeria went to a game 3. Nov 24 - The Team visited Valeria at the hospital 4. Dec 20 - MKA shares gifts and Christmas dinner with us!!  God bless this girls for all the love they are giving to Valeria...is like having 24 more big sisters.  Special thanks to Coach Tully and Coach Donna... what a wonderful people with HUGE HEARTS!!!

        2. Barbara Zobian - Candle lighter foundation -- gave us the opportunity to have an special private time with SANTA CLAUS at Bloomingdales. Click for pictures

       2.  Earnie Twomley -  the Mail carrier for our neighborhood was on the news with Valeria. This is the WCBS heading and the link for the video...


"Postal Workers Deliver Christmas To Sick NYC Girl. Mail Carriers Deliver Gifts, Holiday Spirit To Brave Girl Fighting Cancer" by John Metaxas, CBS 2 HD


Click for the video  

I want to give special THANKS for MKA Volleyball TEAM - Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, Earnie Twomley-the mailman, Paul Nicholls -TEAM CONTINUUM, Barbara Zobian - Candlelighters Foundation for made this Holiday Season a special one for my family...specially for the kids! And for all our relatives, friends and ciber-friends...thanks for your prayers and support.  Thanks to all of you that made possible that we reached the fund raising goal with TEAM CONTINUUM! Thanks for my husband and more special...thanks to Valeria and my kids, Gerardo, Maximo and Gustavo...you are my heroes! You inspire me the strength to continue and to give more and more... with you in my live I feel FULL! 

GOD is giving me the gift of having all of you around me!! THANKS!!!

 During the Christmas week we went to Williamsburg , VIRGINIA... we had a GREEEEEEEEAAAT time...very relaxing! We visited the colonial area and the kids spend a lot of time in the indoor pool and playing around.  I stayed relax and quite most of the time...I needed! 

Well, it is a lot for just one update....hope to write you soon with more good news! God bless you all.  Remeber to spend this Holiday Season with the MOST IMPORTANT: YOUR FAMILY!! Give thanks to God for EVERYTHING OF 2008 and pray for a WONDERFUL 2009! 

2008-11-12 Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA

2008-09-26 Video to Share!! A girl from UK, that we don't know gave us this present: she created a video in honor to Valeria.. It is amazing!!  This is the link for Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6UxLv1Sjf8

Remember: Valeria's father will run NYC Marathon in Nov 2 to honor her and all the children with cancer.  Please support him with a donation to Team Continuum.  For Online donations click here.

Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA

Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA

Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA

Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA

Sorry for the delay, soon I will be posting everything that occurred since the last update..meanwhile I want to share with you this video that a lady from Spain did for Valeria...ENJOY! NAYDA

2008-09-01 Summer Summary!! Finally I went to my house in PR for 6 weeks! Oh God...what a good feeling! I went to Pr with the three boys and Valeria stayed in NY for her treatment but visited PR in her off days and met with us! During my first days at the house I felt like an stranger because I had to ask my husband where the things were...remember I was not at my house since May 2007(only 5 days) and before that in this last 3 1/2 years I went only for 19 days; some on 2005, others '06 and others days '07.  So I was a visitor at my house!!! But it didn't take too long to get used. During my stay was my high-school reunion (I had a LOT OF FUN...it was so nice to see all my old friends again) the boys played all the time with their cousins and went to the pool or the beach almost everyday. 

I need to THANKS some people that made this dream come true!!  My mother, Isolina, my aunt and her husband, Titi Miriam y Tio Cuso, my sister in law, Cary (Rosa) Reyes and specially my husband, Gerardo...who never has a no for my requests!!!  All of them took care of Valeria in New York during her chemotherapy and other appointments.  There are real ANGELS on EARTH!!

When Valeria had no treatment (only 4 week days days each three weeks) she went to PR and met with us and visited some tourist places in the island... we confirmed: PUERTO RICO is BEATIFUL and UNIQUE!!!.  During one of her visits we celebrated her 11th Birthday...click here to see pictures. I'm sorry I could not invite all of you...but hope you understand!! Only with my family was crowd..you know my family is HUGE!  Gerardo and me had an unexplained HAPPINESS to see Valeria sharing with friends and family on her 11 birthday out of hospitals, doctors, appointments, etc...!!!!! God permits to see her many, many more....

In the first week of August we returned to our "reality"..but I have to be honest " this time I didn't feel too sad to go back to NY" Maybe I'm getting used to it, we are having friends, the kids are doing sports and at the end and most important: in the HOSPITAL are taking care of Valeria as a QUEEN and we are living a MIRACLE!!  HOW I'm GOING TO COMPLAINT!!! God bless all of you always!! NAYDA

PS. Please "HELP US TO GIVE BACK" remember to visit:http://www.teamcontinuum.net/athlete_page.asp?eid=22&uid=81712 for donations. 

2008-08-23 We continue firm! Thanks to God the result of the MRI of 8-19 came "stable" once again. Don't get confuse, I said once again with joy in my heart… we recognize how unexpected  are these results for some… but GOD continues in control… we do not only depend on science, although personally I believe that the doctors are blessed when having a special capacity to study so much and to try to understand the human complicated body! We pray not only for the patients, we especially pray for the doctors so that God helps them to recognize how them can be used as celestial instruments! Thanks to all for your prayers. God bless… NAYDA 

PS. Please "HELP US TO GIVE BACK" remember to visit:http://www.teamcontinuum.net/athlete_page.asp?eid=22&uid=81712 for donations.

2008-05-15 Thanks for your patience! We were VERY busy in these last month...it is not an excuse to keep you posted , but is the true!! First..thanks once again for all those inspirational and lovely messages... 

Valeria is feeling good!! Last MRI was on May 6 and again came stable..it is desperate in some point, but when you know about all the other cases around you and you read more and more about her kind of tumor,, then you say "THANKS GOD FOR THIS MIRACLE".  About two weeks I met with one of her Neuro-oncologist and I felt honored with his words "I never thought we will have this conversation almost three years after we met"  Those words gave me more hope than ever, I felt in my heart another way of confirmation that is GOD who is having the CONTROL.  She still out of any second effects like vomiting, nauseas, transfusions, etc...she is a "STRONG" girl!!!!

Her physical therapist with the neurologist recommend transfer her to a specialized rehabilitation hospital to treat her weakness on the right side of her body.  HEr leg is much better (still bumps, but less) but she still does not use her arm.  But about her chemotherapy and antibody treatment that will continue in the same hospital, Memorial Sloan kettering Cancer Center.

Her brothers are doing good in school and GREAT in sports. Gerardo, the oldest, is in a baseball travel team and all of us enjoy going to different places on Sundays to see him play. Is not because is my son, but he plays good!!!! But most important he plays it with passion...  When you have passion on what you are doing you do it better and effortless, because the strength born from your heart!! 

Maximo (6yrs) is doing really great at school and is in a baseball team also. He plays Saturdays mornings and Gerardo two games on Sundays!!  

As you can see, now we don't have free days..Monday to Friday school and hospital FULL DAY and the Baseball and church on week-ends!! 

Last April 21st I had an ambulatory  surgery in my right knee (meniscus & fluids). I feel really good now but need to take physical therapy.  During summer finally I will have the opportunity to be at my house in Puerto Rico for more than just a week!!!!  I will travel with the boys only after school ends and Valeria will stay in NY with my mother, Carol (Valeria's cousin), and Titi Miriam and her husband, Cuso.  I know that Valeria will have very good company.  Then Valeria will go to PR but for just 5 days (treatment off-days) to meet with us.

In the last three years I had being in my house of PR only for 19 days in total.  Last visit was May 2007 for just 5 days...   I miss it a LOT, but I'm not anxious to go back because I know that GOD is having a purpose on keeping us in New York... my heart is missing my house, my people and my island, but my mind is not pushing, is just waiting in CALM with the PEACE that only GOD can give!!!!!

God bless you all with the same PEACE I'm feeling right now......let HIM take the control and you will see your "problems" like nothing....


2008-03-17 God continued in control! Since the last time I wrote Valeria had 3 MRI and Thank God the tumor continued stable! As I have written many times ... on the type of tumor that  Valeria has being stable is  EXCELLENT and OUT OF THE COMMON ... so that we continue to see a miracle every day. She was in-patient in December due to a bacteria. During her hospitalization they operate again to remove the "med-port" that proved to be infected and get a temporary line. Later on January 25, 2008 they remove again the temporary and put a permanent. So far, the latter has been working very well.

Valeria remains blessed regarding  to the side effects of her treatment ... it is good to see her lab results ... sometimes I think she does not have the tumor! REALLY!!??!!  I am not crazy, but I rest on my trust to  God and I feel that my daughter is healthy and we are only waiting for HIS orders to go back to Puerto Rico ... all together (the 6 of us plus the chihuahua, Campanita).  

VALERIA had the opportunity to visit PR during 5 days on MARCH with her father, I stayed in NYC with the boys.  She had a GREAT time.. go tomorrow the photos tab and you will see some pictures on the beach...her favorite place on EARTH..

Thank you all for the messages so inspiring that you have left in the GUESTBOOK .... I take this opportunity to tell you  HOW PROUD I FEEL of my OLDER SON, GERARDO ....

Gerardo, 12 years old, will shave his head on Monday, March 17 to honor the courage of his sister, Valeria, during her cancer treatment.

St. Baldrick  Foundation performs a specific activity at the national level where people shave their heads and raise funds for research aimed at finding a cure for cancer.  As you know, Valeria's actual treatment is a study (experiment)...so you can see that this kind of activities are needed. One day in the past tuberculosis and other diseases had no cure!!!!

Gerardito has pledged to raise $500.00 before March 17 for the Foundation….and he DIT IT!!! Here is the link for his page on the activity:


It would be excellent if you write to his email what you think about what he is doing ... not only by Valeria, also for all children with cancer. His email is: gerardor95@yahoo.com

Hopefully some of you will join this foundation… next year.

God continue to bless you in abundance…


2007-08-27FULL MEDIUM GLASS OR MIDDLE EMPTY?  That may be a good description of what is happening now… Valeria had her MRI on 8/28 but doctors decided not to make the MRS because they believe that everything is the same of the last MRS, based on all the tests done since December 2006. Results agreed with Doctors opinion…TUMOR is exactly the same but has no signal that cells are dead.  In that part the “glass is medium full”.  The “middle empty part” is that based on results Valeria has to continue the treatment with no date to finish for now.  The tumor is stable, not growing, it is GREAT, that means that the “experimental drug” she is taking is working!! But for now, she can not be without it!  Her kind of cancer grows extremely fast without treatment. (“Recurrent High-Grade Anaplastic Astrocytoma”). 

So, for know we need to stay in NY and we can not go to Puerto Rico.  One curious and important fact of her treatment is that she is the only survival patient. That is sad from the point of view of the others kids, but gives us the BELIEVE that she still out of statistics.  When we asked one doctor what thinks about the results till now, the doctor literally said: “Valeria is a Blessing, we just decided to keep her in the treatment”.  When I heard those words…my heart jumped of happiness….when someone get to the point to admit that unexpected results are caused by a blessing….a miracle is happening, is an unnatural force controlling the situation…and there is only one word for it: GOD!!! IN THAT CASE OUR GLASS IS NO MIDDLE FULL….IT IS TOTALLY FULL!!!!

Now we are looking to move to another apartment in the same area, near the hospital and the schools.  We are in a really small apartment now because we thought it will be for a year only, but based on the actual situation we need to move. The boys started school last week and Valeria startedHome School, now she is in 5th grade!!!! I just hope that winter does not get to cold this year..JA, JA…

Thanks for your patience waiting for the results and most of all THANKS for your love, prayers and care!!! REMEMBER, GOD has a purpose with us in all this….be better people, trust more on him, BELIEVE in Miracles, BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF “PRAY”, but our prayers need to be in harmony with our lives…..GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

 Nayda & fam.

2007-08-27  THE COUNT DOWN IS OVER...
Tomorrow, August 28 at 9am Valeria will have the exams we were waiting to know if the tumor cells are alive or not. Based on the results, will depend if she will continue in the same treatment, or if will be any change or the best scenario....treatment will over!! No matter the outcome we trust on the will of our Heavenly Father. Without any doubt He had guide us during this past 2 1/2 years under his protection. Why be afraid now? Only knowing Valeria's performance during all this time we have the vivid testimony of HIS power and will over any medical opinion.
Of couse!!! YOU HAVE AN ENORMOUS CREDIT...your prayers are along with us in all times.  Other testimony of the power of praying is Valeria's recovery after the surgery she had on August 20.  That monday she left the hospital at 7pm without problems...just a little pain, but is normal!!! Tuesday she was good, Wednesday she had some nausea, but after that she was great!!!

The exams results are on Thursday, August 30....imagine that is my husband birthday #40. CONGRATULATIONS!!

I will write to you ASAP!!  God bless you all...A BIG HUG! NAYDA


On Monday August 20 Valeria will have a surgery to place back a "permanent med-port".  the procedure should be like an hour and may start around 10:45am.  SO PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO SEND US YOUR POSITIVE ENERGY PRAYING TO GOD TO SEND HIS ANGELS TO VALERIA AND THE DOCTORS DURING THE SURGERY!!!
   What a worderful days we had...first we went on 8-06 to Six Flags at New Jersey for two days and stayed in a near hotel. God gave us beutiful summer days with some clouds, but no rain. And He sent everybody to work!! Because the park was not crowd, it means No Lines to the rides!!  We went over & over with no end. Literally we close the park!!  the third day in the morning we visit the Six Flags Wild Safari, in which you go in your car and animals are just free around you...it was fun!  After that we drove to Maryland and stayed in a good friend house, Debbie and her husband Xavier. This family made us feel at HOME!! They have a beautiful nice house with a big patio and kids just LOVED!! Because they are close to Washington DC we visited some points of interest, as the White House...just outside!!!  

You remember that Valeria's birthday-July 14- she was in patient, so we decided to officially celebrate it and she decided Chuck Cheese... so we invited another friends from Puerto Rico that live in MD with their kids, and in a last minute we CELEBRATED!!  She had her cake WITH REAL 10 CANDLES!!!!

Hey....keep in touch!! LOTS OF LOVE, and GOD BLESS!

Reyes Family...  
PS For Pictures click here: VACATIONS PICTURES

2007-08-02 What we can do?!!??!! Valeria was authorized to go to Dominican Republic BUT was not allowed to swim or get wet on the upper body(on her left upper chest corner she has an external temporary line, that can not get wet).... Because it doesn't make any sense to go, we decided to cancel the trip!!!!!  Of course Valeria was very sad and I was not less, but Gerardo & me started to think on a PLAN B....so we decided to go two days to Six Flags in New Jersey, then 3 or 4 days to Baltimore, Maryland.  I have a VERY GOOD FRIEND, that lives there and had invite us many times to visit her. Her name is Deborah, she studied with me since elementary school. 

I'm sure the kids will have a lot of fun on the park....and Valeria finally will have some fun on this Summer.  

It is a blessing to have alternatives when you find a "NO" on your road.  I can not said that I didn't cried...but I was crying more for frustation and thinking on Valeria's reaction. But after few hours everything was in calm!!!  I just want to think of what God is protecting us...?

Thanks for be part of our story!!


2007-07-26 FINALLY SHE IS OUT AFTER 18 DAYS!!!  YES, Yes, yes!!!!  Valeria is a lot better, no fever, no diarrea, no nausea and no bacteria!! As of today she has no confirmation that the Adenovirus is out, but we believe is over because symtoms are not present. ANOTHER GOOD NEWS is that the brace she had on her right arm because of the fracture is out!! An x-ray showed that her wrist is good now. To see pictures during her hospitalization click here "PICTURES"
     So, only positive energy is around....kids are still going to  the camp everyday, while Valeria goes to the hospital Monday to Friday to receive her Irinotican Chemotherapy plus her other regular appointments: Physical & Occupational Therapy, Neurologist, Psicologist, etc.. This is a full schedule, but as long she comes to the hospital as an out-patient is no problem, we can handle it.

     Another good-news..is a very good chance that we may have few days of vacations at Dominican Republic next week...we had those plans for February 2006 but doctors order to cancel due a fever that Valeria had.  So keep praying that we can make this trip now....

Thanks to all of you that sent a message to Valeria for her Birthday..WE read ALL of them!! I can tell that this was the birthday with more "messages" I never saw!! Valeria received more than 100 emails, guestbook notes and postcards, plus a lot of presents... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

2007-07-18 16 days in the hospital!! Yes, Valeria still hospitalized! As you know she was treated with antibiotics for a bacteria, plus the med-port was removed by surgery.  A day after the surgery she came positive to a virus on the stool. Fevers have not stop, and the same bacteria of the beginning re-appears yesterday!!  The main concern is the fevers and a strong diarreas she is having, maybe caused by the antibiotics plus the virus.  Because of the virus we still on a private room, which is a good thing, we can talk or watch tv, turn the lights on or off whenever we want, etc...
On the 16th at 9pm the MRI she had pending was performed....as a preliminar result, the TUMOR IS STABLE, THANKS GOD!!  This is very important, it means she may continue on the trial medication (chemo & antibody).

sorry, I have to go now, tomorrow I will add some pictures of her birthday and tell you more!! LOVE, NAYDA
THANKS FOR YOUR MESSAGES ON THE GUESSBOOK and most important, Thanks for your prayers.

2007-07-12 Still in the hospital! On the 10th Valeria had a procedure to remove the "med-port" she had placed since August 2005. The surgery last for 1 hour 10 minutes. The port had a bacteria that was causing the high fevers. Also they placed a "temporary port" that will last about 3 to 4 weeks.  As of today she still on pain, so she is having pain medicine that makes her sleepy.  Yesterday morning one of her cultures came positive to a virus so she still with the diarreas and fever. Because of the virus we were isolated and moved to another room. At least we are in a private! For the other side her blood counts are good!! She was not eating to much, but today ate a little more. I don't want to guess when she will be out, HOPE SOON!!!  My mother is here on NY helping and taking care of the kids and Uncle Gino went back to Portland to work!!  
Also THANKS to all of you that wrote to Valeria on the Guestbook.  I love to seat by her side and read it to her...  And THANKS to all of you that were praying during the surgery and for Valeria's HEALING !!  KEEP SENDING MESSAGES ON THE GUESSBOOK, WE LOVED!!

Because Valeria's birthday is Saturday the volunteers from the playroom area are preparing a birthday party at the her room on Friday....it will be nice!!! 

Well, I'm not going to lie, I'm very tired! My mother is going to stay tonight with Valeria in the hospital and I'm going to sleep with the kids in the apartment.  Gerardo, my husband, arrives tomorrow morning...we are so happy!!!  Specially Valeria, she is a REAL DADDY'S GIRL!!!

Keep you posted...A GREAT HUG TO ALL!! NAYDA

2007-07-05  Up and Down!! during the last week of June Valeria and her siblings were scheduled to be on a camp, but it was not possible.  Another family were in the hospital with a kid with chicken pox(even not a patient)!! Can you imagine!?! What they were thinking?...so all the patients around him that day were isolated!! For that reason Valeria and her brothers missed the camp on the only days she had off-treatment during June. I was so frustrated, but what I can do??  Then Maximo got sick for few days...It was a nightmare..
As of today Valeria does not has chicken pox! THANK GOD! But on Monday, June 2, she started to have a high-fever, even with the tylenol it still. So doctor decided to admit her.  She is hospitalized in Memorial Hospital having some blood cultures, her chemotherapy and other tests...as of today fever still present with some nauseas, vomitting and headaches. This is not common on her!!!! Since her first chemotherapy on April 2005, she never had nauseas and vomits and a real fever only on October 2005. (She had one day fever, due to a virus on Feb 2007).  
We are praying that doctors may find soon where the fever comes from, so she may get better to be as an out-patient again and go to the apartment!!  She was not hospitalized since October 2005...so for us is an uncommon event.  Her father left to work to Puerto Rico on Sunday July 1st, without having an idea that this will occur. But God is so generous, that two families of Ronald McDonald House took my other kids with them until July 4 that the famous, Uncle Gino arrives to New York and is taking care of them...or them are taking care of Uncle Gino!!!??? Ja, JA...
Valeria's next MRI is on July 17..we let you know!

   Hello! Finally the results!! MRI showed that tumor is shrinked another milimiter!! It is not a big reduction, but is very important to has consistent good news! Her Doctor is very positive with this results. Next MRI will be on July 17 and on August 28 she will have an MRS, in which we may see the tumor chemistry and to know if it still alive or not. PLEASE CONTINUE WITH YOUR PRAYERS!!!  
    Summer is over us and we are very happy with the warm weather!! As you know we are used to it in Puerto Rico. We have no plans to go to PR for now because of Valeria's treatment, but we can enjoy here at NYC visiting the parks, getting wet on the sprinkles, walk by the river..etc.  Valeria loves to get wet in the parks, and her siblings too!! For me is easier because we don't have to wear to much clothes (jackets, etc).  Valeria and her brothers will go in the end of June to camp that is offered to cancer patients and siblings.  For sure they would have a GREAT TIME!!

These next months until the end of August are very important on Valeri's treatment, she will finish her second year on this trial treatment (chemotherapy)....keep you posted!!  God bless you all...a BIG HUG! NAYDA

Today Valeria will have an MRI at 6pm. We invite all of you to make a short prayer at 6pm!!! She has one each 6 weeks to see her progress.  Please keep with your prayers in order she will have  a calm exam. Her Dad will be inside with her..she loved!! He gives her a lot of peace and good humor!! Next Friday we may have results!!!  Regarding her right hand, it is bettrer, but still needs more time with the brace. Keep you posted!

First Comunion!!! Valeria was beautiful on her white dress!  She was so nervous & excited..she cried a lot!  For us were so important that moment in which she received in the Comunion Sacrament the Body and Blood of Jesus!! Jesus gave his blood to save us and now our daughter is receiving it through the comunion!!   In church were a lot of relatives and friends, after the mass we went to the church's activity room and shared with them.  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU THAT WERE PRESENT WITH YOUR PRAYERS, NO MATTER THE DISTANCE!!  To see the short video  you may click HERE!!

Finally, today we are going to Puerto Rico!! We don't go HOME  since June 2006, almost a year!! Valeria & her siblings are very excited...  On our visit Valeria will do her First Comunion on Saturday, May 19...  

Yesterday night we were at Ronald Mc Donald House watching Oscar de la Hoya Boxing fight and celebrating 5 de Mayo.  Valeria was playing with other kids and felt.  She fracture her right wrist, she will wear a brace because on that hand she involuntary movements and with a cast on would be to painful.  She will recover with no problem!! 
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Note: We are working to recover all the journals we had. For technicals reasons some are not included. We apologize! Thank you!