Daya’s Story Tamayo- Saldana Family

For months, Daisy was told her daughter, Daya, had an eye infection and not to worry about it.
After a couple of months, the bump on Daya’s forehead, right about her left eyebrow started rapidly growing in size.


Not satisfied with the diagnosis of an “eye infection” Daisy decided to take matters into her own hands. She got an uber and headed straight to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) where they waited for hours in the Emergency Room before seeing a doctor. Little did they know, that boat ride from Catalina to Long Beach, in September, was going to be their last boat ride for a long time.


After multiple tests, the doctors delivered the devastating news. Stage 4 – rhabdomyosarcoma. The cancer had spread throughout her body and immediate chemo and radiation was needed. Had Daisy not taken Daya to CHOC, she would have been dead. If that wasn’t enough, the other devastating news is that Daya’s treatment including weekly chemo and as a result will not be able to return her for at least a year. After a month of living in the hospital, Daisy and Daya headed over to Ronald McDonald House Orange County and we will be their home for the next year. Daisy soon made arrangements for her son, Alan to come over as well. Together, this little family of three now calls RMHOC their Home. Daya has started her Home/Hospital program where a teacher comes to see her for an hour a day and the House provides the right environment to allow her to continue learning.


Daya and Alan enjoy everything from pet therapy to most recently Trunk or Treat at the House and while they still miss their little island or Catalina, the House has made the transition easier. The island has also shown up for Daya and it is amazing to see how many islanders have taken the time to come over to the mainland to see Daya. At one point, she had over 50 people in the ICU visiting her. Daya remains upbeat despite her diagnosis. She still dreams of meeting the Dodgers and still whines when she has to stop playing with other kids in the house to do her homework. She has a long road ahead of her but is confident that with all our support she is going to “kick cancer’s butt” #dayastrong