Cortez family battles childhood cancer to help community members

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MINOT, N.D. - A local family who's battled childhood cancer for the past year is now looking to help neighbors in the community with similar stories.

For the past few months, the Cortez house has been all fun and games, but that wasn't always the case.

"Initially it was really, really, really extremely scary," Rachel Jones Cortez, Roman's mother, and a Warrior's Heart Founder.

At the tender age of one, doctors diagnosed Roman Cortez with kidney cancer.

"To find out that your kid has a six pound tumor was very terrifying," said Rachel Cortez.

Roman's mom Rachel Cortez says she realized something was making a positive impact on Roman's health.

"Roman's oncologist noticed that because of the dietary changes and lifestyle changes we decided to do, that he was one of the most healthy chemo patients that had come in contact with," said Rachel.

Now, Rachel and Roman are using their experience seek to make an impact on community members in the same situation; that's where A Warrior's Heart comes in.

"It's a non profit that will help bring resources and support to caregivers in order to give them more information in order to live a more healthful lifestyle that they can integrate into the care that they're already given," said Rachel.

Cortez says she hopes the non-profit will help families get through the darkest of times.

"When your child is sick you almost feel like a victim. I like to think of myself more as a warrior to like get through a tough time instead of a victim," said Rachel.

Creating one warrior heart at a time.

Rachel plans to host an opening fundraiser next month. You can find out more information about the event and the organization at