In December 2014, mom-of-two Laura Ruffino agreed to one of the biggest friendship requests ever. Her best friend since childhood, Liz Diamond, was diagnosed with brain cancer in August of that year and wasn't feeling well. Like the good friend she was, Ruffino drove Diamond, a single mom of four girls, to the cancer center. The news she received at the cancer center was not good, which led Diamond to start making plans for the future. She asked Ruffino if she would take care of her daughters. Without hesitation, Ruffino vowed to take all four girls into her care.
As Diamond got sicker in the next few months, the girls -- ages 5, 7, 8, and 12 -- began to spend more time in the Ruffino household. Diamond passed away in April 2015, and Ruffino made good on her promise to keep the girls full-time.
This story touched me in so many ways. Laura Ruffino is such a good, selfless person for taking in four young girls, especially when she already has two of her own. But I was even more stuck by how selfless Laura's husband Rico was to take in his wife's friend's children. There seems to be no doubt in his mind that they belong in his family. "They're my kids now," Rico told ABC News.
Something that remains unclear is the story behind the Diamond girls' father, Elyson Pagayonan. Pagayonan and Diamond divorced four years ago. According to Leonard Berkowitz, a lawyer for the Ruffinos, Pagayonan went to court to contest the Ruffinos getting permanent custody of the girls. However, he has not filed papers for custody of them either.
If you want to help out the Ruffino family, they have set up a You Caring fundraising page. They have already raised nearly $90,000.
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Image: Rico Ruffino