Welcome all! This page initally was dedicated to raising funds to help a brave little girl named Caitlin Soleil Lucas and her family with rising medical costs sustained in an effort to find a diagnosis and cure for her condition. The diagnosis had been made - a rare form of leukemia called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Our little warrior fought the disease with so much grace and courage. The disease took a toll on her body. Today, it claimed her life on earth, but her spirit lives on. Her faith touched many lives. All donations received and will be received from this point on will be used for medical costs and other incidental expenses accumulated when Caitie still graced the earth with her smile. All prayers and love received will be used to heal wounds
Here was how it all began -
Caitie is a three year old girl from my home in the Philippines who has for months undergone multiple bone marrow biopsies, CT scans and painful IV insertions without achieving a diagnosis. All throughout, Caitie has put up a brave front against this unknown enemy, but rising costs are testing the faith and courage of Caitie and her family.
I am honored to share Caitie's story with the rest of the world. You see I know her parents. I know of her parents' love, devotion and faith. Most importantly, however, i know of this little girl's courage. Scratch that. I have learned a LOT from this girl's courage. I am still learning. To this day, her courage teaches ME
New year in the Philippines is like spending new year on Times Square in New York City , but only noisier, with more fireworks and firecrackers.
Caitie's new year, however, began with a trip to the hospital. It started with rashes - some reddish, some purplish in color. They were all over, in different parts of her body. Initially, they were thought to be insect bites and various creams were be prescribed with little to no effect. Then came the anemia, and poor weight gain. A cough appeared that never seemed to get better. Shortly afterwards, despite a clear chest x-ray, Caitie was diagnosed with tuberculosis. She began a course of medication for TB, thinking it would help.
New skin lesions erupted accompanied by fever and difficulty walking. Then Caitie began having bouts of diarrhea and blood was detected in her stools. A colonoscopy was performed and she was put on intravenous nutrition control.
Multiple lab tests,IV line insertions and two bone marrow biopsies later, there was still no firm diagnosis. How can a cure be found if there is no diagnosis?
These are Caitie's hands. They are tiny. Now they are bruised, swollen and painful. Her parents do their best to smooth away their daughter's pain while desperately trying to find out what is ailing her. These are not only the hands of a sick little girl. Look closer, they are the hands of a fighter. A warrior. Despite everything, Caitie is the one asking for more procedures like bone marrow biopsies and blood tests. Why? Caitie wants to see the beach and the mountains. She wants to feel the sand under her feet and the sky overhead, not hopsital floors and fluorescent lights.
Off to singapore
Caitie's condition did not seem to improve and no diagnosis was found, so the family flew to Singapore to see if the doctors there could help her.
Singapore is also working to find out what is wrong with Caitie. To this day, no diagnosis yet. But Caitie is determined to fight this disease that has baffled all her doctors , both in the Philippines and Singapore.
While at Singapore, her platelet count dropped to three. A normal platelet count is between 150 and 400 and hers was 3!! She was expected to bleed spontaneously and was transferred to icu. At that point, her heart rate was up and her oxygen level low.
It was like watching a surreal movie. I am a doctor. I work in the field of medicine, and know what platelet count of 3 does to a body. But Caitie and her family believed and prayed, and despite everything, Caitie defied the odds and pulled through! And she even managed to muster a smile! Look at that tiny child, lost in the hospital bed, wrapped in tubes and equipment, smiling!
As of this moment, the family has an outstanding bill of roughly $100k US dollars and rising. A diagnosis has yet to be found, let alone a cure. More tests are in the works, whichmeans more hospital stays. Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and tough times, the amount of faith, courage, trust and love shown by this little girl, her parents and family have made me believe this girl was born to inspire others.
I will close with her mother's beautiful thoughts for today...
Something is causing the reaction in her blood but doctors don't know what the primary illness is.
Malignancy is a bit blurry but we can't get out of this area still. There's a blood problem but what?
thankful for the delay... It's an opportunity to pray and be rooted in the faith. I know that God would continue to sustain Caitie until the day when we will finally arrive at His perfect timing then she will be healed.
So while delays will come... All we can do is to choose every single time not to be discouraged. To give thanks and to trust that in His time, healing will come either here or the next.
- Chai Ling Tan
- KJ Teng
- M L
Louise Gutierrez Amman
Santa Rosa Beach, FL