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11-year-old girl will soon be cancer-free after battling leukemia at Ronald McDonald House Philadelphia

11-year-old will soon be cancer-free after spending time at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House
11-year-old will soon be cancer-free after spending time at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House 02:41

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This Thursday, CBS Philadelphia will present our 14th annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Telethon.

We'll be raising money to help the Ronald McDonald houses in Philadelphia, Delaware and South Jersey.

One family said the Philadelphia house is like home. 

It's the weekly activities like a fun costume party on Halloween that 5-year-old Mason Ocasio looks forward to at the Ronald McDonald House.

"I just love it," Ocasio said. 

Ocasio, his 8-year-old brother Ryan, and their parents Gladys and Emmanuel are staying at the house with their sister, Rachelly, as she overcomes cancer.

"I love her so much," Mason Ocasio said. 

Rachelly is a playful 11-year-old who loves singing and dancing.


"Honor roll student in school, she plays the violin in school and piano," Gladys Ocasio said. 

On Feb. 17, she was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It's been hard, it's been hard," Emmanuel Ocasio said. "Every day you have to stay positive that every day is going to be a better day." 

"This just changed everything because Rachelly hasn't really had a break from the hospital," Gladys Ocasio said. 

Over the past nine months, Rachelly has been undergoing chemotherapy at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

The family's home is about an hour away in Vineland, New Jersey, so living at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia has made life much easier.

"We call this home," Emmanuel Ocasio said. "Home is where you feel comfortable. What made it most comfortable is the people, the staff members. They treat you as if they understand what you're going through."

"She's seeing that she's not the only patient here who has cancer, she sees other kids who have bald heads," Gladys Ocasio said.


"It makes me feel pretty normal knowing that there are other kids going through situations like me," Rachelly said. 

That has helped her on her journey to recovery and soon Rachelly's doctors say she will be cancer-free. 

The Ronald McDonald House is truly a home away from home for so many families. 

Our telethon is Thursday, Nov. 16 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on broadcast and our streaming service CBS News Philadelphia. 

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