Las Cruces siblings mother dies of cancer months before graduation

Riley and Chloe Folkman with their mother Brenda Diaz. (PC: Riley Folkman)

Two Las Cruces siblings, one graduating from high school and another from college, are holding each other tight as they cope with the recent loss of their mother.

Riley and Chloe Folkman lost their mom to stage 4 cancer just months before she was able to watch them both graduate.

They tell KFOX14 while it hurts not to have her by their side as they graduate, they know that she has the best seat out of anyone, for she’s able to look down from heaven.

“Just knowing that she’s not physically here is really hard, and thinking about my future, like her not being able to see me graduate, her not seeing my wedding, everything like that hits me, but knowing that she’s watching over me makes me feel a lot better,” Chloe Folkman said.

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For them, the saying stays true, a mothers love stays with her children forever.

“I know she’s always with me,” Riley Folkman said.

“She was my best friend, she was amazing, I told her everything,” Chloe Folkman said.

As Riley graduated from New Mexico State University last week, and his sister Chloe graduated from Mayfield High School on Thursday, a piece of them was missing, their mom.

“She was our number one fan and it’s something that she would definitely be proud of us for,” Riley Folkman said.

“I promised her that I would do everything to make her proud, i’m still promising that to her today, I’m going to continue to do everything I can to make her proud,” Chloe Folkman said.

Riley said if his mom was here, she’d be sure to make their graduation special, despite the COVID-19 circumstances.

“She’d have balloons, she’d have food, I mean she’d be giving us like presents, hugs and kisses,” Riley Folkman said.

As they hit other big milestones in their life's, they tell KFOX14 what gives them peace, is knowing they’ll have a guardian angel watching over them along the way.

“It is hard because you do want your mom right next to you, giving you hugs and kisses when your doing something so big and accomplishing something like graduation, but even though she’s not here physically, she’s here spiritually and that’s all that really matters,” Riley Folkman said.

Chloe said she wants to make sure to tell her mom this, “Thank you for always being the best support system, being the best mom and being my best friend.”

Chloe plans to attend Doña Ana Community College in the Fall to be apart of the radiology program. Riley said he plans to join the state police.

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