ON PITBULL’S PLANE:
JUST WHEN it appeared all hope was lost for Puerto Rican cancer patient Tania Cristina Robles, an unlikely hero pulled her from the horror of Hurricane Maria: Pitbull.
Two weeks behind on her treatment for stage 3 brain cancer because of the devastating storm that wiped out power across Puerto Rico and shut down hospitals, Robles, 39, couldn’t believe her luck when she learned she could grab a seat on a private charter plane flying from San Juan to Miami on Monday.
Her only clue to the identity of her secret savior was the music she heard when she boarded the plane — one of her favorite Pitbull tunes.
“I said, ‘What are the odds that out of all this, I am having such a great time and they put on the music I always play when I want to be in a happy mood?’” Robles (photo inset) told the Daily News.
Robles, whose 8-year-old twin daughters remained in Puerto Rico, was the only cancer patient on the plane. She was joined by about 15 passengers, including relief workers and a woman traveling with her mother to get treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, she said.
Everyone was shocked when the plane manager let slip the name of their mystery benefactor, Armando Christian Perez, the Miami-born entertainer who has built a global empire as Pitbull.
“I couldn’t believe I was actually on this plane, leaving for treatment. It was a miracle,” Robles said.
Her journey to the U.S. mainland started nearly a month ago, when two Hurricanes Irma and Maria laid waste to Puerto Rico.
Robles was diagnosed with breast cancer last July and underwent a double mastectomy. Doctors believed she was cancer free until discovering two brain tumors .
Robles had emergency surgery to remove one and was scheduled for the second when the hurricanes hit. After Maria, the hospital treating her went “pitch black.” She knew she didn’t have months to wait for the island to recover .
“I told everyone I know I needed to get out of Puerto Rico,” Robles said. “I knocked on every door.”
She had no idea that Pitbull’s private plane had already been carrying in relief supplies and ferrying out medical patients.
Pitbull, who didn’t publicize his acts of kindness, said he was “just doing my part” in a statement Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Robles hasn’t given up hope on herself — or of meeting Pitbull.
“I want to meet him, I want to hug him, and I want to be a part of his worldwide tour,” she said.