Local Parents Cope with Son’s Sudden Aggressive Brain Tumor Diagnoses

WOODLAND -- A young Woodland boy now has just months to live, after the 6-year-old was diagnosed with a rare, and aggressive brain tumor.

"I see my child, and I can't believe his life is going to end,” said Judith Contreras.

Her son is Ruben Contreras, and we need to level with you right up front: there's no happy ending to this story. Of the 250 kids in America who each year who develop DIPG- the same cancer Ruben has, none of them have ever survived it.

His life expectancy is 9 months.

"We get to the hospital and they tell us he needs radiation to even make it overnight," said Ruben Contreras Sr., Ruben’s father.

Just a month and a half ago, no one was the wiser. Ruben was the kind of kid who bugged his mom to get school on time so he could keep up his perfect attendance record. In the month and a half since his diagnosis, the cancer has eaten into the connection between his body and brain such that he can't swallow properly, or move his right arm without help, or often even talk.

"There's moments when he'll look at me and say ‘Mommy’ and I'll see the little boy that I was on my way to UC Davis with. And then a second later, he becomes irritable. He screams and I no longer recognize his face," Judith Contreras said.

Ruben's Mom and Dad, Judith and Ruben Sr., were talking to us today because this is the beginning of September, and September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

They wanted to let people know that it’s not just some terrible nightmare that visits someone else, someplace else, but it's here, happening to our neighbors too.

“Any kind of support we could receive, whether it's spiritual ... conversational ... financial. Any kind of help that's out there, we'd be happy to receive it," said Judith Contreras.

The family is accepting donations at the following here: YouCaring