The Romualdo family moved to the St. Cloud community a few months ago and were recently given some devastating news… their 11 month old daughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma – cancer.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare sarcoma that develops in the muscles and can cause pain and swelling. About 350 children, teens, and young adults in the United States are diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma each year. Rhabdomyosarcoma is slightly more common in boys and often occurs before age 5.
Nicole has received a tracheotomy to help her breathe easier and has been undergoing some aggressive chemo treatments at Nemours children’s hospital in Lake Nona.
As you would expect this has been challenging for the Romualdo family but they have continued to show faith and hope and although they are new to the community, neighbors and friends have circled around them to help and to let them know they’re not alone in this fight.
Debora and William, Nicole’s parents had to make the tough choice to cancel her daughter’s 1st birthday because of all the additional responsibilities necessary to take care of Nicole. That’s where community kicked in.
Although the Romualdo family is new to their neighborhood, their new neighbors and friends, like Heather Gibbs and Lindsey Taylor, put together a birthday drive-by celebration that included the St. Cloud Police Department, Pink Heals from St. Cloud along with their Pink firetruck Kris, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Princesses Against Cancer, Positively Osceola, and numerous friends and neighbors. The birthday celebration parade kicked off at Chisolm Park in Narcoossee and made its way, along with car honking and sirens blaring, to Nicole’s home where she was showered with smiles, laughter, gifts, photos, a “smash cake” from Publix, and of course… bunches of love from everyone.
It was a reminder that we don’t have to go through life alone, and that we are still better together. Please join us in praying for Nicole and her family, and we thank everyone who stepped up and were part of her sweet drive-by birthday celebration. Happy Birthday Nicole!