Purple, vacuums, and a little boy named Lucas

Three years ago today Lucas Tran died. His story and battle was one that I followed diligently throughout 2007, ironic that it would somewhat parallel our own experience with Max not more than 10 months later in 2008. I always felt a particular fondness for the Trans, beyond the intense affinity that I feel for any other family and child going through the nightmare of relapsed neuroblastoma, or any childhood cancer for that matter. But knowing that your child is doomed to die soon, perhaps painfully, while you just sit and watch it all happen, understandably brings strangers closely together even if they've never met before.

The Trans lived in Palo Alto when Lucas was alive. After Max died, I heard that they moved about 10 miles away from us in San Diego. GOOD, I thought. We would finally be able to meet. We've since seen them from time to time, and it always makes me feel good to be close to such good people that have suffered so much, much like ourselves.

Strange as it may seem to outsiders (ie, not angel parents due to childhood cancer), a powerful, brave, poignant, yet delicate photographic slideshow of Lucas' life, death, cremation and celebration of his life on their website, inspired us when we were forced to walk the same path with Max. It's important that we all remember the cost of this disease. It's children suffering intense pain. Dying. Families shattered. The brutal reality should not, can't, won't be forgotten. That's why it's important to show the world not only the smiling pictures of our cute bald kids, but the not-so-nice ones too. After all, as Hannah so eloquently wrote, "death is a natural as birth."

Lucas loved the color purple, and vacuum cleaners. Today, the Trans are going to enjoy some purple ice cream and vacuum around their house. We're going to do the same. Please join us or visit Lucas' site to let they know you were there, and remember.


Kipp said...

Strangely enough I vacummed my house today for the first time in... well a long time (no need to air my total lack of house keeping)! Guess Ill keep with it and wear purple today too!

rherbert said...

The images of Lucas' cremation are forever seared in my memory...I very much agree that it is crucial to bring the reality of this disease to light.Perhaps, too, when peope see that, they can then imagine what it would be like if it were THEIR CHILD...and maybe then, we will see a call for action and more change....

bigD said...

I could not have imagined that such heartache and pain existed if I had not lived it myself. Purple is my favorite color and I will think of Lucas now whenever I see it. Just like I think of Max whenever I hear the song Ring of Fire. I believe it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words.

"When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!" ~Ted Grant

Anonymous said...

Lucas and Max are always on my mind. And yes, they are inextricably linked. Each of them had that sweetness, curiosity, and ferocious, unrelenting love for their families. The Trans also remind me so much of your family: natural parents, loving, insightful people. We will continue to support Max's Ring of Fire, for Lucas, for Max, for as long as it takes until we hear the word, "cure".

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