It was April of 2018 when local wife and mother Yedid Ibarra learned her pains were more than just a stomachache — she had stomach cancer.

“When I heard the news, I pretty much just fell apart,” her husband, Rudy, told KTSM.

Amid the earth-shattering diagnosis, the Ibarra family came together in the matriarch’s time of need.

“The family did become closer, that was one positive thing that came out of this,” Rudy said.

Six months later, things took a negative turn when Yedid died of the disease — something that’s still difficult for the family to cope with.

“My 5-year-old talks about her every day, still,” Rudy said with tears in his eyes, “We’re not going to let him forget her.”

Experts say Yedid’s diagnosis is one of very few in the country, adding that early detection is key.

“It’s a cancer that’s relatively easy to diagnose,” Dr. Ioannis Konstantinidis said. “The earlier we can diagnose it, the better we can treat it.”

As for Rudy, he’s turning his pain into progress and honoring his wife by helping others dealing with the disease that claimed her life.

“She wanted to comfort other people, she just didn’t have the time to do it,” he said.

Join KTSM and the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation for the Colors of Cancer 5k happening Sunday morning at Sue Young Park.