Socal nurse turned 'Momcologist' when her son became her most important patient

ByJovana Lara and Jessica Dominguez KABC logo
Monday, August 5, 2019
Nurse turned 'Momcologist' when patient became her son
SoCal nurse Carolina Valls turned "Momcologist" when her most important patient became her son, Anthony, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain tumor.

BREA, Calif. (KABC) -- Carolina Valls, a nurse, never imagined her most important patient would be her son. Now she calls herself a "Momcologist."

"You know this is a complete curse being a nurse. But on the other hand of that it's truly been a blessing being a nurse because luckily I do have that insight knowledge," said Valls.

It was the end of November 2017 when everything came to a shocking halt for the family. Anthony was only 9 years old at the time.

"He woke up one day and just vomited all over his bed, no other symptoms at all," said Valls. "Next day he vomits again. He never once had a fever, he didn't complain of any abdominal pain, any tummy aches. As a parent you know your child better than anybody else."

Her instincts told her something was very wrong. So she persisted and persisted, advocating for her son and his health. Then, after several doctor visits, Carolina and Anthony's father, Ricky, learned the devastating news.

Drowning in her own tears, she heard the dreaded words. Anthony was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a rare brain tumor, which in Anthony was the size of tennis ball.

He had emergency surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and they successfully removed 95% of the tumor, but the other 5% had infiltrated his brain stem already.

Ten days later when they left the hospital, Valls began questioning the toxicity of their health inside their home.

Keeping in mind that they needed to prepare Anthony for the long, grueling road of chemo and radiation ahead.

They decided to document his journey on Instagram, so family and friends can follow "Prayers for AJ" to stay up-to-date on his condition.

On Vall's "RN Momcologist" Instagram, she shares valuable information about non-toxic products and more, but never imagined the incredible impact it would have.

"Even adults who have cancer now, that'll reach out and say: "I just had the most horrible day...there's days that I feel like giving up, and yet I see Anthony's Instagram profile and he's always smiling and he's always cheerful," shared Valls. "And that just gives me the strength to continue."

Little by little and with a lot of research and time, Valls and her family have been able to detoxify their home as much as possible. Everything from not using a microwave and doing away with foil to ridding their home of processed foods and plastic straws.

Valls tries to buy organic as much as possible. She also documents and shares on her social accounts all of the food items and products that have helped improve Anthony's health.

Over the last year and half, they've seen Anthony take promising steps towards a healthier future, and Valls believes all of the small changes have had a big impact on the whole family.

"Some products might be costly to some, but in the long run, you are making an investment in your health," said Valls. "We've seen Anthony not only survive this journey, but he's actually been able to thrive. His dad and I always tell him, you have no idea how many people you inspire."

Carolina Valls' trusted go-to research site: