Mom, 10-year-old daughter both fighting cancer on Long Island

BRENTWOOD, Long Island (WABC) -- A mother and her 10-year-old daughter are both defining bravery as they fight cancer.

Cancer survivor Cianna Tunstall has spent half of her young life just wishing she could do everything other kids love to do. But osteosarcoma, which caused a tumor in her leg, has made it difficult.

The 10 year-old from Brentwood was diagnosed at age 5 and had eight months of chemo. And because her family preserved her leg, she has battled through numerous surgeries.

"Used her own fibula bone from the same leg and used that as her new, makeshift femur," her mother Kim Rengifo said.

The good news is, despite many complications and the fact that one leg is much longer than the other, Cianna has been cancer free for nearly four years.

But then came the double whammy. Rengifo found out she had breast cancer. She was diagnosed in September and needed chemo as well.

"It takes a village to help you get through this journey," she said.

And you can imagine how scary it must be for a child whose mother is her lifeline.



"My friends sometimes comfort me, and say that it'll be OK," Cianna said.

An advocacy group called Campaign One at a Time helped them raise $10,000 so Cianna can soon get a service dog. And she beams at the thought of that independence.

"I wouldn't say no to the dog, I would only say no to my parents," she said.

They also hope to use any extra money raised to help other kids going through similar struggles.

"Every year there's over 15,000 kids that get diagnosed with cancer, and we're on a mission to reach as many of them as possible," said Brodi Nicholas with Campaign One at a Time.

Cianna's next scan will be in March and her next surgery will be in June to help elongate the bone in her leg. As for her mom, Rengifo's bilateral mastectomy will be Tuesday.

Click here to learn more about Cianna's story and how you can help children struggling with cancer.

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