On January 5, 2017, Alexis was diagnosed with leukemia. She was seven years old.
Despite her diagnosis, Alexis found hope and comfort in the Chemo Duck she was given by her doctor at the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center in Austin, Texas.
“It was the only thing that would make me smile, even when I was sad,” said Alexis, who celebrated her 8th birthday in May. “It reminded me of a pet duck my grandmother used to have. I actually named him Pato Lucas like my grandmother’s duck.”
Now, wherever Alexis goes, Pato Lucas goes, too. Alexis uses Pato Lucas to explain her situation to other kids and adults. Having Pato Lucas nearby has helped show her that she’s not alone in her journey.
“I get sad when I forget to bring him to my appointments because I know if he doesn’t go he won’t get better soon,” Alexis explained. “I love him with all my heart, he is just like me in every single way. He doesn’t have hair like me and he has a port, too. It makes me so happy just to see him and cuddle with him.”
Just as Pato Lucas has been a comfort to Alexis, she has been a comforting friend to others in her situation.
“She was a great help with another girl who was diagnosed after her,” said Alexis’ mom, Norma. “She helped her with her fear of accessing her port. She showed her a couple of tricks for her not to be afraid when getting it done. They are pretty good friends now and the girl is no longer afraid.”
Alexis also loves to help out at the clinic by talking to other kids about her experience and the way she sometimes feels about what is happening.
“It helps her and them at the same time,” explained Norma. “She has grown so much after this and her way of seeing things has changed, too.”
When Alexis isn’t spending her days spreading hope and joy to others at the clinic, she can be found spending time with her parents, her brother Luis and her step-siblings Alex, Chris, Kristy and Frankie.
Everyone with Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is so thankful that Alexis was willing to share her story. Her sweet, caring spirit is a gift to us all!