Los Lunas family raises money for 14-year-old daughter battling cancer

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LOS LUNAS, N.M. – Natalie Rimel might look like your average child, but it was four years ago when her and her family’s life got turned upside down during one weekend.

“For two days it seemed like two years, the first one was rough,” said Nicole and Scott Rimel, Natalie’s parents. “2019 was her first diagnosis, 2020 was her second diagnosis, and then January of this year was her third diagnosis.” 

Doctors diagnosed Natalie with optic pathway glioma, a tumor which can have effects on someone’s vision.  Her other diagnoses effected other things too for Natalie.

“Her second was an anaplastic astrocytoma, and the third one doesn’t have a name yet. It’s in a delicate area, so they haven’t been able to biopsy it,” said Natalie’s parents. 

Natalie is only 14-year-old. Her growth stunt comes as another side effect from her tumors. 

“It has damaged her body’s ability to make growth hormones and puberty hormones, like her thyroid hormone,” Natalie’s parents said. 

Natalie did go through radiation and chemotherapy, but right now she still goes to a lot of other treatment and therapy sessions.

“I have leg therapy, and arm therapy, and eye therapy. Yup, the whole therapy,” said Natalie. 

But that doesn’t change her mindset towards this situation.

“I whooped its butt,” Natalie said. 

With all of the therapy and doctor’s appointments, Natalie and her parents are trying to take a break from it all.

“We just want to help raise funds to get Natalie a trip from her everyday you know, appointments, everyday life,” said Nicole and Scott. 

Through a Facebook support group, Natalie’s mom found a nonprofit – “Campaign One At A Time.” They partnered with them to help bring Natalie’s family to the “Give the Kids the World Village” in Florida.

“It offers a place where kids with several different diagnoses can go and just be themselves,” said Nicole. 

Now, Natalie’s just taking on life her own way – one step at a time.  

For more information on Natalie’s journey and how to help, click here.