MANILA - The brief yet inspirational life of Caitlin Soleil Lucas, a three-year-old Filipina who passed away after she was was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, was celebrated at a memorial service held in Singapore on Friday.
Her mother, Christine Feliz Lucas, paid tribute to her young daughter's courage as she battled juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, which has been reported to affect only one in a million children in the US.
"Please don't let her pain go to waste. She went through pain and she went through death simply because she wanted to let each and everyone of you that Jesus loves you all," Feliz said of Caitlin, known to many as "Courageous Caitie."
Feliz also recalled one her last conversations with Caitlin. "I was so scared of losing her, so I asked her, 'Caitie, can you try your very best. I know it's so hard to talk and open your eyes. Please try to open your eyes and say 'Mama, I love you.' And she said, 'weewee.' And then after that, she said, 'Mama, I love you.'"
Caitlin's father, Jayjay Lucas, also expressed his grief. "We may be sad because her presence will be missed but her mission has been completed," he said.
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Caitlin passed away Thursday after her three-month battle with the disease. She was first diagnosed last January when her parents spotted rashes on her body, which were initially thought to be insect bites.
The first diagnosis was tuberculosis (TB), prompting Caitlin to undergo a series of medication for TB. Her condition, however, continued to worsen.
The family then flew to Singapore where doctors said that Lucas has juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.
Caitlin' family plans to bring her remains back to the Philippines once the necessary documents have been arranged. Another wake will be held at the Arlington Memorial Chapels, Quezon City.
Her body is set to be cremated on Sunday.