BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- Yvette Rivera signed up for "Shave for the Brave," organized by the group 46 Mommas . The number 46 represents the 46 families who each weekday are told their child has cancer.
A fact Rivera's family knows all too well.
Her playful personality captivated everyone who met three-year-old Nayelis Rivera.
Sadly, those who did not will never get the opportunity to smile along with her.
Nayelis lost her battle against an aggressive form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia three months ago.
"Three long years, good moments, bad moments, in-between, she was always smiling, laughing, fighting," said Rivera.
Her mother clutched "Mono," her Navelis' favorite stuffed animal, as she spoke out about childhood cancer.
"A cure needs to be found. Children shouldn't have to be fighting this," she said. "They should be playing outside, acting like little kids, not worrying about blood transfusions or worrying about if they have another day or another week."
Rivera was in Los Angeles earlier in the week, getting her head shaved at a fundraiser for research, organized by the group 46 Mommas, supporting St. Baldrick's Foundation .
"I just had to do it," she said.
However, she had to overcome tears to get through it.
"Seeing the other moms there and seeing some of the other children and what they were going through, it just made me miss her even more," Rivera said.
Now the entire family, including her six-year-old brother Nandiel, are learning to tap into their inner strength and faith inspired by their little angel.
"At three years of age, she would grab my face and just rub my cheeks and if tears were coming down my eyes, she's like 'Mommy don't cry, no cry, it's okay, it will be okay,'" Rivera said.
She stresses, "I just want people to realize how important it is for us to fight for our children, to raise awareness and to raise these funds so a cure can be found through research."
Nayelis had three relapses. Her treatment included bone marrow and cord blood transplants .
The family is thankful for all who've signed on as donors and will continue to push for more of us to get involved.
Rivera says one of the things Nayelis loved to do at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital was to unlock the Toy Closet, just to look at all the toys for the sick children.
So the family is also looking to do a toy drive.
For more information on the 46 Mommas group, visit their Facebook page .
The state Democratic Party is returning a $10,000 contribution from the chief executive of Comcast-Spectacor and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, saying it has learned he could be a state contractor.
West Haven officials say state plans to eliminate Exit 44 on Interstate 95 south will make it harder for the city to attract business.
Residents make sure to gas up your vehicles and buy any basic necessities today, as some may see nearly a foot of snow in this weekend's storm.
For residents looking for tips on how to prepare and stay safe during a weather-related emergency, the state has a Guide to Emergency Preparedness.
A Stamford man convicted of attempted murder after he unknowingly hired an undercover police officer as a hit man to kill his wife has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
MILFORD, Conn. (AP) — The treasurer of the Milford Rotary Club has been arrested on larceny charges on accusations he embezzled more than $200,000 from the Milford Rotary and two other groups.
Farmington police say an officer shot and killed a man while responding to a fight between a father and his adult son.
Every week we take a moment to look back at the last week using your pictures and video. This past week, we got a lot of pictures of the season's first 'measurable' snowfall.
While many are looking ahead to the weekend snow storm, this morning we're waking up to the coldest air of the season.
This week's Pet of the Week is a cat named Shirley.