Buckeye girl battling cancer says it's ok to be brave

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Zaliayah Rodriguez, 6, is fighting cancer. (Source: Alicia Samone Photography) Zaliayah Rodriguez, 6, is fighting cancer. (Source: Alicia Samone Photography)
Zaliyah Rodriguez, 6, is battling stage four cancer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Zaliyah Rodriguez, 6, is battling stage four cancer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A six-year-old Buckeye girl battling stage four cancer is telling the world it’s okay to be brave. Zaliyah Rodriguez was diagnosed this year with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of soft tissue.

Her father, Anthony Rodriguez, says it started in January when Zaliyah caught her hand in a door. He says her hand swelled so he took her to the doctor. What was thought to be a simple injury revealed a tumor.

“They did a full cat scan, body scan on her and found about six of them, six or eight of them throughout her whole body,” says Rodriguez. “Complete shock... why? How?”

Rodriguez says he prepared Zaliyah for what would happen next. Chemo would cause her to lose her hair, but Zaliyah embraced it.  She announced to her family that she was ready to shave her head.

“She just woke up one day and was like I'm ready, and it's like, you're ready for what?” says Rodriguez. “She's like, "I'm ready to do it.”

The family had a party. After Zaliyah got a clean shave, it was everyone else’s turn.

The 6-year-old took the buzzer to mom and dad and her sisters.  A professional photographer captured the moments for the family to share.

People have been following Zaliyah’s journey on Facebook.  Rodriguez says he hopes his princess is inspiring others to see every day as a gift.

“To stop and look at the trees different, just take a second out of your day and hug your kid more than what you do,” says Rodriguez. “We didn't teach her, she's teaching us.”

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