NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Naomi Perez treasures every moment she has with her grandson, 4-year-old Mason Perez. Naomi is also his legal guardian.
“He was supposed to go to make a wish this Saturday, but we canceled,” says Naomi.
Mason is on hospice care, and he’s dying of brain cancer. His battle to fight the disease started only months ago in March.
“They called me in and they said, ‘Well you know you have a very sick child.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ They said, ‘Well, he has a mass,’” says Naomi.
“It was as roller coaster of ups and downs. He would have a couple of good days, and then he would start feeling bad,” says Mason’s aunt, Maritza Perez.
They say Mason took his treatments like a champ, never giving up.
“He’s so strong. He’s such a fighter. He’s just an amazing kid,” says Maritza.
After two brain surgeries and radiation for months, doctors did an MRI scan on Mason, and this week, they received devastating news.
The doctor told Naomi the cancer was back - this time, inoperable tumors were on the other side of his brain.
“I knew he was dying, and he said, ‘I want to go home, momma.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we are going to go home,’” says Naomi.
Mason’s infectious smile and love for life touched so many who wanted to show their support for him.
Wednesday night, people gathered to sing Christmas carols on the front lawn of Mason’s home. First responders across St. Tammany showed up in an unbelievable force, knowing his love for lights and sirens.
“When the people started singing, his eyes opened up and he was alert,” says Maritza.
The gathering was special for Naomi and Maritza, as well.
“Just for that moment, there was so much joy in our hearts because a community came together because of him, because of the lives he’s touched, they were here,” says Martiza.
Mason’s family says the holidays will be especially hard, but the community’s love and support means the world.
Mason did not have insurance and his family set up an account at Capital One under Mason Andrew Perez. There’s also a Go Fund Me account in his name.