BOSTON -- The holiday season is considered the most wonderful time of the year, and for one little girl spending it in the hospital, all she is asking for is some mail.
Around Memorial Day, Ruby Mae Millea started complaining of knee pain and was experiencing some fevers. After several trips to the doctor, a heartbreaking discovery was made: A mass was found above her kidney and following more tests, the 3-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma.
"It was the scariest moment I've ever had in my life," Nichole Millea told WCVB.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that starts in the nerve cells and affects children ages 5 and younger. Since June, Ruby has been battling the disease and is now undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Tuft's Children's Hospital in Boston.
"She is remarkable. She's quick-witted. She's smart. She's determined," Millea said. "If you tell her she can walk on Tuesday, she's going to walk on Monday."
Recently, the now 4-year-old little girl from Swampscott underwent a major surgery that removed 95 percent of her tumor. With the holidays upon us, one of Ruby's nurses decided to get her a gift: a mailbox.
"It's so cute. I said, 'Ruby you got some mail today,'" Millea said. "I brought her out and she went, 'Whoa!' that was her reaction."
The family hopes anything from an uplifting card or a cute drawing can keep their child smiling through the holidays.
Little Ruby has already spent Halloween, her birthday, and Thanksgiving in the hospital, and is most likely doing the same on Christmas and New Year's Day.
If you'd like to send Ruby mail, here's the address:
Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Unit
755 Washington St.
Boston MA 02111
c/o Catherine Cattley
Her GoFundMe account, titled "Team Ruby," raised more than $50,000 and reached its new goal of $60,000 to help with little Ruby's medical costs.
4-year-old girl battling cancer asks for holiday cards