For more than nine years, 11-year-old Abrihl Castellanos has been in need of life-saving surgery. She has a condition called neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic nervous system disorder causing tumors to grow around the nerves.

After trying everything possible, her parents have taken her from their native Guatemala to Canada, where she will be treated at Shriners hospital in Montreal. In the meantime, Abrihl and her mother are staying with extended family in Kitchener.

"My prayer was answered, that is why I am here with my daughter to get surgery that she desperately needs," Abrihl's mother Dora Castellanos told CTV News.

The family's journey has not been easy. In Guatemala, doctors told the Castellanos that they could not help. The family began writing hundreds of letters to international hospitals, ministers and the Guatemalan president, whose wife interceded on the family's behalf.

Abrihl will go into surgery on May 14th. If you would like to help Abrihl and her family, they can be contacted at