Caitlin Lucas, earned the title of ‘Courageous Catie’, given to her by her near and dear ones. This little 3-year-old girl was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. She passed away leaving behind a story of her courageous fight against the dreadful disease.
Little Catie was a normal happy child, when suddenly, one day, her skin showed marks that were passed off as insect bites. But then these marks turned to lesions, and soon on New Year’s Day last year, she was hospitalized with severe abdominal pain. That is when they realized that her spleen and liver had enlarged to an abnormal size.
They then decided to fly to Singapore in February, for further specialized treatment.
According to Inquirer, after going through several excision biopsies, blood extractions and bone marrow aspirations, the unidentified disease was finally diagnosed as juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a rare cancer that affects only one in a million children in the US. The parents were heartbroken to learn that there was no known treatment for the illness, and started preparing themselves emotionally for the worse.
Her mother, Christine Del Feliz Lucas, thought it was important for her to share her child’s story with other unsuspecting parents, and started a Facebook page about her dear daughter’s mysterious illness. She maintained posting Lucas’ courageous fight for her life, endured by the little soul with smiles.
Her smiles won people’s hearts and attracted netizens who offered prayers and gifts.
On a Thursday morning, her mother mentioned in her post Catie was experiencing difficulty in breathing since the previous night; that the doctors had decided to intubate her and induced sleep so as to avoid discomfort, for the little, frail girl.
“This is the last time I saw Catie’s eyes [completely] open last night. Asking for prayers right now, today she will be sedated and put on a tube to stabilize her because of her high respiratory rate,” she later posted. Within minutes, she posted again that the child was in critical condition and that her oxygen level was at a critical low. “Let your will be done,” the following post said.
The page ends with Catie and her parent’s post of Catie with her eyes open for the last time, and her parents bravely putting up a smiling.
This little girl’s fight with the dreadful disease and her courage and emotional strength she displayed in smiling till her last breath, has inspired many Filipinos and all people worldwide.
Catie passed away later, succumbing to the rare blood cancer.