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Two time cancer survivor honors his mother for fighting with him

"I'd say thanks to her, I'm here. She helped me. She was like the light of my tunnel," Cancer Survivor Reynaldo said.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As we continue celebrating Memphis, we are thanking mothers for all they do for us. 

A two time cancer survivor is sharing how his mother was right by his side fighting with him.

"I'd say thanks to her, I'm here. She helped me. She was like the light of my tunnel," Cancer Survivor Reynaldo said. 

He expressed that his mom has been one of his main sources of strength. 

"I thought it was my journey, but it wasn't because it was also hers," Reynaldo said. 

In 2018 Reynaldo's life changed after finding out he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that forms in soft tissue.

"I was in school, so basically one of my science projects was to study cancer. I never thought I was going to get diagnosed, which is something that I studied during my period in school," Reynaldo said. "So even if I studied cancer, that journey is totally different…reading papers on the internet than living it." 

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Reynaldo, who was living in Puerto Rico at the time, said more than week passed by before doctors found a diagnosis. 

This type of cancer is rare. Reynaldo said it impacted his daily routine and the things he found the most joy in.  

"I didn't know what was happening to me, so at that time, I used to do sports. I used to dance…do many things," Reynaldo explained. "It was hard for me to understand that I wasn't going to be able to do it at that time." 

But after much research, Reynaldo and his mother turned to St. Jude for help and moved to Memphis. 

After a year and eight months of fighting, he became a survivor, the first time.

"And then I went home for six months until it came back, and I had to get my second treatment for a whole year," Reynaldo said. 

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He has been cancer free since 2020. Reynaldo said he does not take anything for granted and appreciates Mother's Day even more now.  

"Mother's Day, it's kind of hard for us because it reminds us of that day, but we're trying to make it a habit of sharing as a family every time the Mother's Day comes," Reynaldo explained.