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Brave little Rhaina: A 2-year-old’s courageous fight against cancer

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Rarely in life is there a miracle. But for Rhaina and her family, this brave young warrior's life was a miracle in itself. For while she did not recover from the disease, her spirit was a testament of endurance, and the inspiration her short life imparted to others was and is simply miraculous.

WARNING: Graphic images ahead

She was Rhaina Keila Boada Padilla also known as Brave Little Rhaina. And at just two years of age, she endured more pain than many of us will ever experience in a lifetime.

Rhaina, a Baguio resident, succumbed to an aggressive form of cancer on July 2, 2016, after battling the disease for two years.

But despite her suffering, Rhaina remained strong--determined to live a long life and excited to celebrate her third birthday.

Until her very last moments, when she could hardly speak, Rhaina was undefeated--even managing to bid farewell to her parents with the sweetest reminder of her love.

"At the moment...She is touching my face...Kahit hirap n siya nasabi pa din niyang (even though she was suffering so much, she still managed to say) I love you mommy I love you daddy," Rhaina's mother said on Facebook on July 1. The post, which showed Rhaina touching her mom's face as her dad and mom held her, has since been deleted.

Rhaina's bravery

"Despite her situation, she acted like a normal child. She said she will get healed and wanted to live a long life," Rhaina's mother shared in another Facebook post.

Rhaina was born on December 25, 2013. She was a happy, intelligent baby, who loved to play and discover new things.

When Rhaina was 11 months old, her mother noticed something strange in her left eye. It looked like a reflection of light in the pupil--the way a cat's eyes look at night.

The doctor's shocking discovery on the next page.

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