Family who lost daughter to liver cancer learns 9-year-old son has a brain tumor

A Rockwall family that has already suffered tragedy from cancer is once again facing a tough challenge.
In mid-January, The Martell family got the frightening news at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, that their 9-year-old son has a brain tumor.

The news came almost exactly one year from the day they lost their 14-year-old daughter Luna to cancer. The family is gearing up for another medical challenge, taking things step-by-step.

“She was very bubbly, full of life,” Heidi Martell said of her daughter.

Family members remember Luna Martell as a fighter, and a caretaker of her five younger siblings. She was diagnosed with liver cancer when she was just six years old.

“There's been many years worth of hospital visits, in and out, hospitalization surgeries,” said her father Jonathan Martell.

Luna’s family says she was artistic, energetic and playful. She passed away January 27, 2016.

Less than a year later on January 12th, her family was hit with yet another challenge, learning Luna’s 9-year-old step brother Simran has a brain tumor.

“It was just as we were kind of preparing to manage the year anniversary of her passing. It was definitely. I think the first week was extremely challenging for us,” said Heidi.

Though they were six years apart, Luna and Simran were best buddies and even shared a birthday.

“She would've been the best child in the family to have been with him right now,” said Heidi.

The family’s community has stepped up to help, offering everything from meals and school team mementos as a show of support, to raising money for Simran’s upcoming surgery and the long recovery ahead.

“As long as we can communicate and have faith in one another, that's what's important,” said Jonathan.

The family is working hard to stay persistent and make every moment count.

The family is headed to Houston for surgery to remove the tumor next week. After that, doctors will find out whether it’s malignant or benign, and determine further treatment. Either way, it’ll be about six months of recovery for Simran. The family has a FUNDRAISING page online to help pay for medical expenses and will also host a fundraiser, March 9th at Mooyah in Rockwall.

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