When Elizabeth Diamond was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer in August of 2014, she had an important question for her best friend, Laura Ruffino.

“She said if anything ever happens to me, I want you to take my girls and I instantly said ok,” said Ruffino.

The two had become best friends while in fifth grade. “No matter where we were, we always had fun.”

“As she started to weaken, you can imagine the fears I had for the girls and being without her.”

A single mom of four girls, Diamond lost her battle with cancer several months later in April of 2015. Ruffino, her husband Rico, and their two daughters immediately welcomed the four girls into their family.

The family’s New York community has started an online fundraiser for the Ruffino family, and the popularity Diamond’s story has received has helped the center raise over $96,000.

The Ruffino family is still adjusting to its new members; however, they are approaching the challenges with a positive attitude. Rico Ruffino stated, “Ten years ago I didn’t think this would be my life. But if something gets thrown at you, just accept the challenge and do the best you can.”

A Beaverton resident, Madeleine Cook enjoys a passion for reading, running, and the arts. She is currently studying the Great Books at the University of Notre Dame and is interested in eventually teaching.