Boy Battling Cancer Welcomed Back to School by Classmates - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Boy Battling Cancer Welcomed Back to School by Classmates

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KENNEWICK, WA- It has been a long battle for 8-year-old Romeo Ruiz, battling a rare form of brain cancer, who has not been able to go to school for the first half of the school year, but Monday, all of that changed.

It took Ruiz out of school during the first weeks, but Monday, he fought back hard and took his first steps back into the classroom.

Ruiz woke up, laid on the couch, and turned on his favorite show, “Adventure Time,” while his mom cooked breakfast.  Monday was no ordinary day though because it was his first day getting ready to go back to Canyon View Elementary School in Kennewick.

Ruiz had been living in Seattle for months now and he will have to adjust to his new routine, but it is a challenge he is willing to take.

"For him to be here today is definitely a miracle and everybody helping pray for Romeo and God for sure," said Cristina Villa, Ruiz's mother.

The family brought "Team Romeo" shirts for the entire class to wear.

"To have a child as strong as Romeo, to fight everything that he's fought in the last six months and to come back to school, I just think they think he's a hero for sure," Lynn Baldwin, Ruiz's 2nd grade teacher.

"It feels really nice and it feels good inside that we have Romeo back and we know that he's safe and everything," said Ruiz's classmate.

His uncle said having family support has been key to helping Ruiz fight his battle.

"Having a group of people around that support each other plays a big part, and at the same time it kind of spreads out from where other families that have similar situations can relate to that," said Miguel Villa, Ruiz's uncle.

Ruiz was a boy of few words on his first day back.  He was overwhelmed with emotions, and explained what this day not only does for him, but for others.

"It gives them courage," said Ruiz.

"If he wasn't as strong and positive as he is, I don't know how I would've gotten through it.  It's definitely his courage and his strength that feeds off of him and kind of comes to us," said his mother.

Ruiz actually spent half a day at school Monday and will have another half day Tuesday.  His first full day will be Wednesday so he can gradually ease back into the swing of things.
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