Six years ago, their lives were turned upside down. But through the power of music and songwriting, this mother and daughter duo are living each day with a renewed sense of passion and purpose. And now they’re on a mission to spread hope to others.
Nina Ruberto was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer just days after her 40th birthday. At the same that she was losing her hair, brows and lashes from chemotherapy, her marriage was ending. Over the course of a year, she had undergone two different surgeries, including a lumpectomy and a skin-sparing double mastectomy.
Her middle child, Capri (who was just 12 years old at the time), had difficulty dealing with her mother’s illness and her parents’ separation. To cope with the rollercoaster of emotions she was experiencing, she turned to songwriting and singing as a form of therapy.
This led to “Hope”, the original song she wrote as a way to help her mom get better and to express the pain she was feeling at the time. The You Tube video went viral. People around the world were praising Capri for her musical talent and her ability to help other families cope with cancer.
Nina says she definitely hit rock bottom that year. But instead of feeling discouraged or giving up, she saw it as an opportunity to live her best life. “I told myself I would get through the treatments and live my life differently. I knew this was only temporary.”
In fact, when she was finally cancer-free, she decided to leave her career as a top-selling real estate agent in Thunder Bay, ON and move to Toronto, ON with her three children. “People thought I was crazy and said I would be back. They said I was going through something. But in reality, I believe breast cancer gave me the courage to start a new life.”
Although Nina has fully recovered from cancer, her daughter Capri continues to use writing and singing as a way to communicate the ups and downs of being a teen. In fact, many of her songs are about her personal struggles with food, bullying, depression and anxiety. Her hope is that her music will help others heal and show them that they aren’t alone in their pain.
Today, Nina has found fulfillment in helping other women and families find their own sense of hope, while also getting them through the many phases of cancer. She is especially passionate about raising awareness and money for the disease. Through her personal experience, she has realized the power of her own voice and her ability to influence and encourage other women to check themselves regularly.
To celebrate her six-year anniversary of being “cancer-free”, she recently hosted a party at the Drake Hotel in downtown Toronto and invited her closest friends and family. The proceeds from the event were donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. That night, Capri performed the song “Hope”, along with original music from her first album, which is set to be released in March 2019.