6-year-old girl from Madera fighting cancer for second time

Alayna Rodriguez has Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma, a life-threatening tumor that rarely occurs in kids.
MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two years ago Alayna Rodriguez had a terrible pain in her neck. She could pinpoint where it hurt and after several doctor visits, her family learned she had Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma, a life-threatening tumor that rarely occurs in kids.

Alayna underwent her first surgery at Valley Children's Hospital. She then faced two more years of aggressive treatments -- primarily in Tennessee. But last summer, she was finally cleared of the disease and returned home.

"She's our sunshine, she always has a smile on her face. She loves the outdoors, she's always outgoing. She puts a smile on everyone's face," says her mother Eugenia Rodriguez.

The first tumor was in her neck but impacted her spine and central nervous system. Now the cancer has returned and reached her brain. A team of doctors is figuring out the best course of treatment, as people across the country pray for the little girl. Even some celebrities, including Sharon Stone, have sent well wishes.

"It's amazing. People Magazine did an article on her and we've been getting messages all the way from Spain," says Eugenia.

The words of encouragement are inspiring Alayna as she embarks on another difficult journey. Her family is optimistic that once again she will defeat the disease.

"It just gives you the strength to keep going and know that there's people behind you and we can do this. We can beat it a second time," says Eugenia.

You can help Alayna's family by contributing to their GoFundMe.
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