This was the caption of an Instagram photo of the Lucas family – dad Jayjay, mom Feliz and son Ethan – smiling, with arms around each other, amidst the backdrop of a bright city sky. Earlier this year, they lost a young member of their family, three-year-old Caitie, to a rare blood disease. Nothing could be more painful, but light finds a way through even the darkest of times. The family announced last Wednesday, November 30, through a Facebook post that they are expecting a baby.
“Courageous Caitie” remains in the hearts of many Filipinos as the little girl filled with immeasurable strength. Even in the face of a months-long battle with an unforgiving illness, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), her heart and spirit remained full of life and love.
It will be remembered that in late 2015, the little girl was rushed to Cardinal Santos Medical Center with insect-like bites on her skin. For weeks, local doctors could not give a definite diagnosis, so the family was forced to seek medical attention at the National University Hospital in Singapore. On March 5, 2016, her illness was officially diagnosed as JMML.
On a recent post on the Facebook page Courageous Caitie, the family writes that this particular date was the day they hated most. “We almost turned our back on God,” it reads. But now, a turn of events will forever change this.
“When we found out we were expecting, our OB checked the fetus and casually told us that the expected delivery date is March 5. We just cried. What are the chances right?” the post reads. “Only God can replace pain with much joy.”
Throughout Caitie’s battle, the Lucas family’s faith has kept them strong. On their Facebook page, they share anecdotes about seeking help and comfort in God, as well as asking friends and family to offer prayers. With this new blessing, they remain grateful. The post ends with the family thanking “everyone who has been praying for us.”
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Here’s to those who remain in our hearts and the promise of love and new life. Look back at Caitie's inspiring story here.