MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) --Tuesday is the 29th annual Kids Day, you can help save a life by picking up the special edition of the Fresno Bee. 100-percent of the money raised will go to the Valley Children's Hospital and help patients like Naima Gutierrez.
Like most kids her age Gutierrez plays with her toys. Using her bears she showed what she remembers from her stay at Valley Children's Hospital. "My favorite thing about them is that they are responsible, and they take care of me."
Naima celebrates her sixth birthday in June and another milestone-- her third year in remission. At two and a half Naima was diagnosed with a rhabdoid tumor of the kidney. "It's an aggressive cancer, and like most cancers in kids we don't know what causes them," said Dr. Razzaqi, Valley Children's.
It started when Naima's mother noticed a low-grade fever, mother's intuition kicked in. "Something in me said, 'There's something going on that I need to address,'" said Jessica Gutierrez, Naima's mother.
At a routine checkup with the pediatrician, "He felt mass in her belly. I couldn't believe it-- I was in shock," said Jessica.
"It was the toughest thing I've ever had to go through," said Pablo Gutierrez, Naima's father.
This being their first experience with cancer, the Gutierrez family said, it's thanks to the staff at Valley Children's, they were able to stay strong through Naima's seven rounds of chemotherapy. "She's dancing, singing, through her treatment. Yeah-- she had some bad days. We tell the parents that you're going to get your strength from seeing your kid," said Dr. Razzaqi.
Though Naima will have to be monitored throughout her life, her spirits are high. Making her the perfect ambassador for Kids Day-- Valley Children's biggest fundraiser of the year.
You can help children like Naima by picking up a Kids Day paper Tuesday, or by texting "kidsday" to 41444.