Since I learned that Caitlin Soleil Lucas’ battle to leukemia has ended last March 31st there was never a day that I do not check Courageous Caitie’s Facebook Page, her parents – Feliz Lucas and Jay jay Lucas’ Instagram account to look at her past photos and how her parents are coping up with their loss. It’s heartbreaking to imagine how it feels to be in her parents’ shoes, just like Feliz, I am also a mom and I know how hard it is for a mother to see her child going through so much pain, how much more to see your child go… maybe this is why this story hits me so close. I cried when I learned that Caitlin is gone, I cried when I saw videos of her wedding inspired memorial, I cried when I read her mom’s post about Caitie’s last few hours and her aunt’s letter for her, I cried when I told her story to my friends at work. Yes, I am still crying even up to this day that I decided to write this post.
I heard Caitie’s story in early March, I will look at her FB page every now and then but because I feel sad seeing her photos in the hospital and I know how painful it is for her parents to see her in pain, I intentionally avoided watching videos of her or readings posts about her..
Caitlin, more popularly known as Courageous Caitie, was from the Philippines, my home country. She became a phenomenon on social media because at the age of 3, she battled a rare disease and still managed to show obedience, trust and faith in God up to the end. She was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer which started with rashes that showed up in different parts of her body which were initially thought to be insect bites until it progressed to critical symptoms including anemia, poor weight gain, cough that did not went away, severe abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, abnormal CBC, among others. Since then she went through multiple lab tests and series of medical procedures including IV line insertions, bone marrow biopsies and blood transfusions. Doctors from 2 of the best hospitals in the Philippines were not able to come up with a diagnosis so Caitie’s family brought her to Singapore for a more advanced medical testing where she was diagnosed of Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia, a rare form of leukemia that affects 1 out of one million children ages 4 and below. Despite the challenges that the Lucas family went through during this trying times, Caitie and her family remained to have a positive disposition, Caitie most especially, showed courage, she defied the odds and pulled through. Despite being tied in her hospital bed due to the tubes and equipment wrapped in her body, this little girl continued to smile even up to the last days of her life.
It has been more than a week since this rare disease claimed Caitie’s life on earth, but her story still continue to touch and inspire a lot of people’s lives, including me. I am continuously following Feliz on Instagram not only because I want to know how their family is coping up with their loss but more importantly to draw inspiration from them. During their trying times, the Lucas family remained to be faithful servants of God and did not allow the presence of this severe illness to Caitie to hinder them to live a beautiful life, instead they made sure that they live the most out of it and they did not fail to testify how faithful and providing God is.
I am not sure if it’s in one of her interviews or posts when Feliz was quoted saying, “I’m glad we took as much photos and videos we could…Don’t believe the articles when they say you should enjoy the moment and not take photos because you can be part of the videos while you take it and enjoy it, and it’s just so wonderful to look back to. You get encouraged and reminded of how beautiful yesterday was so that you can hope again for tomorrow.” When you google search for Courageous Caitie you will definitely agree with Feliz, even if we do not personally know Caitie and her family, through the photos and videos you will see in the internet, it is as if we were part of their family’s journey. And these photos of Caitie with different wires on her and mask on her face still managed to paint using either her left or right hand, putting on her clothes, conversing with people who visited her and most of all smiling at her pictures were proofs how this young girl bravely fight her battle with so much courage.
From day 1 until now, this family chose to see beyond the situation and focus their eyes to God’s purpose of allowing them to go through what they went through (and is still going through right now). They continue to believe that His plans are better than what they wished and prayed for. In their posts in their social media accounts, Feliz and Jay jay did not hide how painful it is for them to see their daughter suffer and to loose her BUT they chose to believe that what they are going through is God’s best for them and that God love’s them more than most, hence, up to this time they never fail to add #jesuslovesmemorethanmost in their posts.
And Caitie — at the age of 3 she has shown everyone the real meaning of obedience and trust, at her age she had to battle cancer, yet she chose to be a warrior and displayed grace and childlike faith. Her response to the difficulties that she went through has inspired a lot of people. If a child of her age can bravely face these with complete courage and faith, why can’t we adult do the same when faced with trials?
There are so much lessons that we all can learn from this beautiful story… whether you are shaken up, faced with a difficult situation or emotionally drained, look around you and instead of counting your worries and troubles, count the beautiful things happening around you… but above all these – take courage and have faith. Even if things seems to be uncertain, know that God’s grace is sufficient, He promised us strength when we are weak; He will never leave nor forsake us.
Thank you Caitie for being our little teacher and for being an inspiration, rest in peace little angel…
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Our little warrior fought the disease with so much grace and courage. On March 31, it claimed her life on earth, but her spirit lives on. The Lucas family can use all the help that we can give in paying all the medical costs and other incidental expenses accumulated when Caitie still graced the earth with her smile. Please visit Courageous Caitie Medical Fund for your donations.