Thank you all again for your incredible kindness. I can't even begin to convey our gratitude. I stand in awe of Reddit. We had several requests for this AMAA so I wanted to get on here as soon as possible and answer questions. *Bonus Lucas is up past bed time in case anyone would like to have me ask him a question as well. Probably only for another 20 minutes though :)


*UPDATE Many of you mentioned wanted to send Christmas Cards which will make wonderful Keepsakes for Lucas. Please send them to:

Gonzalez Family PMB 167 1650 Margaret St. Ste.302 Jacksonville, FL 32204-3869

Comments: 1274 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

canyouhere1220 karma

TL;DR A redditor posted in various subreddits (r/trees, r/assistance) asking for help with his girlfirends sisters son, who's family needed financial assistance to take their 3 year old son Lucas to Duke University for an operation for a rare immune system disease, and in less than 12 hours Reddit met their goal of $50,000!

If you are a haven't caught wind of this, it is truly amazing and shows the true power and kindness of Reddit. We should all be proud.

My question to you is; do you have any regrets in life?

Lfgonzalez00433 karma

Ever doubting the awesomeness of Reddit. I've so much to be thankful for so at this point that's my only one. It's a good question though because I try to keep regret in mind as a consequence of everything I will or wont do.

backpackwayne557 karma

I'm the mod at /r/assistance and I want to let you know this one of reddit's proudest moments.

Now the question every keeps asking is:


Gotta love this place.

Lfgonzalez00531 karma

Well I have given this some thought today and settled on the Reddit robot with a heart on his chest.

backpackwayne142 karma

Can't wait to see it. When is Lucas going to have his transplant? We want to be with you in spirit and prayer the whole way.

Lfgonzalez00183 karma

The process is pretty involved so i cant say exactly when the surgery itself will occur. We'll be leaving at the end of January and initiallythere is a lot of screening and testing done. Next a central line is put in, and then chemo begins. Once they determine he's ready they'll perform the actual transplant. Then it's a very long and delicate recovery process. We really appreciate your prayers and kindness.

backpackwayne172 karma

Lucas has captured our hearts. We'll be with you the entire way. If you guys need ANYTHING you talk to me and I will get the community working on it immediately.

We'll talk about it later but I'm want to get the entire community to send cards and letters to Lucas for Christmas.

Lfgonzalez0065 karma

This is such a nice gesture. We'll make sure to get a PO Box set up to accomodate that. Thank you so much, a million times over.

DarkFiction134 karma

Hey photoshop pros of reddit, make this!

cough_e561 karma

Lfgonzalez00113 karma


MayKinBaykin23 karma

That's going to be a really amazing tattoo!

Lfgonzalez0037 karma


FranMan32321 karma

I am a Child Life Specialist. We address the psychosocial needs of hospitalized children. We promote normal growth and development through education, socialization opportunities, play, and medical play. It appears you're doing a terrific job with Lucas in your approach to the whole matter. At his developmental age, it is absolutely best to provide concrete information. Focus on sensory information. Abstract concepts aren't going to have much of an impact on him (good or bad). You can tell him he's "safe" (if he's scared during a lab draw or other procedure) but that's still a relatively abstract concept. Telling him that Mommy and Daddy are "here" and holding his hand are going to have a much deeper impact. Stick with concrete.

You also mentioned not wanting him to understand the whole scope of the matter. The gravity of the situation is real. It won't change tomorrow. There's no rush to discuss outcomes just yet. That doesn't mean he should be sheltered in any respect. You already know this about Lucas, he has a wild imagination! He probably says some pretty outlandish things sometimes that make you wonder or say "shit, that was really weird." Imagine for one second that wild imagination taking root with a medical procedure or side effects of some intervention (IV infusion with dramatic physical side effects; lethargy, nausea, vomiting, etc.). He may have been exposed to those ideas only in passing when he saw something about zombies or some cartoon character dying a miserable death (as cartoons depict on a regular basis these days). Once an idea like that takes root it's very difficult to come back from it. By very difficult I don't necessarily mean days or weeks (although it could be the case). It may just be an especially difficult doctor visit. My policy is that there is no reason why a child should have to hurt or fear the hospital experience. There is no such thing as too much truth.

Since Lucas was diagnosed at six months, you're right about him only ever having known this life. Even though that's the case, it doesn't mean that the medical environment is necessarily a welcoming one for him. One of the simplest means of facilitating a positive medical experience is by giving Lucas a medical play kit. They're super cheap and you can get one anywhere they sell toys. This allows him the opportunity to become desensitized to medical equipment. It presents a form of the medical equipment (stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, etc.) in a less threatening form and a less threatening environment (home or waiting room). "Every time he's in a hospital or doctor's office, he loses all control, all autonomy. Having the ability to manipulate medical equipment (his play kit) allows him some semblance of autonomy and control. Get him a doll that can be the "patient." A lot of parents make the mistake of playing doctor with their younger kids. Lucas is only three years old but I'm sure you've also seen just how strong the little guy can be when he hits/throws things. Aggressive behavior isn't always a bad thing. Remember, most adults have trouble communicating their emotions. You can expect a three year old to "use his words" in an emotional situation. Using a doll to play the "patient" will allow Lucas to give him a shot in the eye if he feels like. He'll be able to put the stethoscope wherever he feels. You'll be tempted to interrupt his play to correct him. Don't. Let him work out his frustrations. He's a smart kid. When he's winding down just ask him (debriefing period) "is that what the doctor did to you" or even "does that hurt your Buddy?" He'll be able to transfer his emotions. The only way he'll know what his Buddy is feeling is by speaking from his personal experience. This will allow you to address any further emotional concerns or his fears regarding the medical experiences. You can't address a problem until you identify it.

I just wrote you a whole book. Sorry about that. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this topic please feel free to message me or reply on here. I love my job but it's so much more than that. You will have plenty of experience with Child Life Specialists as Lucas' medical experiences progress.

Lfgonzalez00106 karma

Thank you so much for this. I can't respond in full without writing a book but trust that I read that whole post and am happy to know that we are doing some of the things you mentioned and also, appreciate the advice on the things we arent.

PSMAMA28234 karma

Hi Luis !! I think you might know me :) I love you Lucas <3

Lfgonzalez00162 karma

Hmmm. How do we figure out if I do?

PSMAMA28209 karma

Cause Im your sister ! Knuckle head ! :) P(reston) S (ebastian) MAMA :)

canyouhere559 karma

Yeah, that was so obvious even I knew.

Lfgonzalez00201 karma

you guys could have clued me in!

Ocrasorm174 karma

For Lucas: Would he rather have Super Strength or be able to become invisible and why?

I wish you all the best.

Lfgonzalez00385 karma

Lucas: "Super Strong" and he flexed his muscles. He didnt have an answer for why, just keeps flexing :)

Ocrasorm320 karma

Just keep on flexing. :)

Lfgonzalez00151 karma

exactly :)

ThomasTesla140 karma

Why is this not on every news station?

Lfgonzalez00434 karma

It's on Reddit. That's what really matters :)

stickerjobs112 karma

This event made me remember something a speaker said on ted.. "There is so much good, so many good people here, I feel like I'm in the presence of Angels."

*Edit - spelling! sorry, English is not my first language ^

Lfgonzalez0073 karma

It's 100% true.

KyleBentle107 karma

Hey Luis, we've never spoken much, I but I work with you (2nd floor, graphics). It's amazing to see this outpouring of support, and I wish the best to Lucas and your family.

Lfgonzalez0057 karma

Well say "Hi" next time I see you or ad[sic] me to the instant messenger :)

and thank you so much for your kind words.

[deleted]79 karma

We should send Lucas and Liam Christmas presents toooooo! Okay I'm drunk but still...wouldn't that be cool?!?

Lfgonzalez0038 karma

You are all so amazing.

trisk64 karma

who is lucas? i keep hearing stuff about him and cant find the original post.

wakipaki63 karma

when and how were you guys freaking out? haha id love to know/see all of your reactions! i'm sure it went from shocked to THIS IS INSANE very fast.

i refreshed your loveforlucas page every 10 mins and sat there cheering at home by myself. i'm so happy for you all :-)!

Lfgonzalez0063 karma

Ha Ha Ha :) The image of that is hilariously touching. We honestly didnt sleep last night, and I have still been in a state of shock all day.

carlosrodash61 karma

My wife is currently pregnant and if we have a boy, guess what we are gonna call him: Lucas! for you boy!!!!

Lfgonzalez0043 karma

WOW! We are really fond of the name so good choice. We also love the name Liam. I have a things for L's, sorry.

not_really_a_nerd59 karma

What's the biggest challenge Lucas faces from day to day?

By the way, I wish you guys the absolute best. After reading his story, I'm considering becoming a donor. It breaks my heart to see little kids suffering. Can't wait to see the updates.

Lfgonzalez0086 karma

His biggest day to day challenges come from leaving the house because of the fact that everything we touch outside is covered in germs. If we go to a restaurant for example it becomes quite a production because we need to ask for empty sections and go during off times. Also we clean everything he might touch with antibacterial cleaners. Also we try to order without touching the menus (they really never get cleaned). At home things are pretty easy, so we're all most comfortable here.

DylanThomas92858 karma

Reddit's first child..

Lfgonzalez0019 karma


leita50 karma

I don't think I have enough water in my body to spend if by chance the donor turns out to be a Redditor.

Pinch sweet Lucas and please tell him "I got your nose!" for me. It's only fair since he got my heart. :)

Lfgonzalez0021 karma

Leita, I promise I will do this at least once tomorrow.

femanonette48 karma

Do you have a bone marrow donor match yet? If not, will you please be sure to return here and ask us? I volunteer and I know many other Redditor's will as well.

Lfgonzalez0052 karma

I promise I will do that. We were told there seem to be several good candiates for matches but that can change based on the donor's participation. Thank you for caring so much.

billypacl44 karma

Our son Logan received a cord blood transplant at Duke in July 2010. I can tell you that the doctors and nurses on the transplant ward are the best you will ever encounter. The transplant may be a harrowing experience, but the staff will do everything in their power to make things easier for your son as well as you. If you have any questions about the overall process, what to watch for, or just anything in general about Duke/Durham, I will be happy to help you out. Best wishes for your son to breeze through the procedure like a champ.

Lfgonzalez0014 karma

That is so so so wonderful to hear and thank you. I will probably take you up on the questions. Please email me at [email protected]

Thank you.

TheRedditPope44 karma

As a father of a child who has to go through all this, what have you learned so far from your experience? What advice would you give someone if they were ever in your position?

Thanks for the AMA. We are all very touched by your child's story and all of our hopes and prayers go out to you and your family. I am optimistic that things will turn out alright. Hang in there!

Lfgonzalez0093 karma

The one thing I have learned is that most "cliches" about life are true. Life is precious, you just never realize how much until it's your baby. Your family is the most important thing in the world, they always need to come first. And that being a good dad (or Mom) is one of the most important things a person can do. It all seems trite but trust me that those truths can sometimes not really resonate until you are in a situation like this.

Lfgonzalez0042 karma

And The AMA was the least I could do. I hope Lucas' story can help other families and also serve as a reminder of how much good there is in the world.

logically38 karma

I couldn't donate but I did register here: I'm glad to hear that you guys can now focus on helping the little man recover. What did you think would come out of the original post?

Lfgonzalez0030 karma

Hopeful but didnt dream we would have anything close to the response that we had. I credit IronyX for taking the lead on this.

buddhahat31 karma

Hi Lucas' dad. no questions from me but just wanted to say best of luck to you, your family and especially to Lucas (from one dad to another).

I made a donation yesterday and am so happy to have contributed a small part to something that I know will be awesome for your son.

Lfgonzalez0019 karma

Thank you so much for your generosity and kind words. I wish you and your family all of the best.

MayKinBaykin29 karma

How was the families reaction to how quickly they received donations and met their goal?

Lfgonzalez0071 karma

Calls started coming in at about 5:00 AM. All followed by "What's a Reddit?" But to put it plainly, there has been a lot of hugging and crying.

McGravin28 karma

Hey! I don't have a question, but I just wanted to share again what I said in one of the other threads about Lucas and his condition.

If people really want to go the extra mile to support those who need bone marrow transplants, they should sign up with Be The Match (! By signing up you agree to be tested and consider donating, should a match be found.

It's important, because normal organ donor agreements (such as when you renew your driver's license) don't include bone marrow.

Lfgonzalez0016 karma

Thanks for sharing. We can't overemphasize how important it is that donors are available to all of the families in need.

SwedishFishy27 karma

What is the one thing Lucas wants to do once he's completely healthy?

Lfgonzalez0067 karma

Great question. Lucas' gets antibiotics and treatments regularly but I can't say he considers himself sick. We try really hard to make sure he never feels like there is anything wrong with him. But in the spirit of your question I went ahead and asked him just now.

His first answer was "Play with Douglas" which is a character from the Thomas The Tank Engine line. Then I asked again and he said "Play" and "Lucas ride bicycle too."

robeandslippers26 karma

Hey, donated to your cause yesterday. Just wanted to say that I think you should read up on sterile procedures and basic sterile field etiquette in hospitals if you haven't already. Its common for people to lapse in small things (cleaning an IV before using) and considering you or your wife will always be there it would def be helpful for Lucas's recovery. Anything to help keep the little guy healthy during his recovery right? Best of luck to you and your family and keep us updated!

Lfgonzalez0025 karma

THANK YOU! That is excellent advice. PM if you'd like with some good sources please. I know that is a huge issue and a simple lapse in judgement can compromise the whole process. Thank you.

brooklynerd24 karma

Honored to have participated but with that infectious smile I don't think I had a choice :)

Question: I'm a pre-med student hoping to enter the pediatrics field one day and am wondering what medical providers look like from the patients perspective. You have probably been to a ton of doctors with Lucas throughout this journey and some must have stood out in your interactions, what was it that gave you that feeling?

Lfgonzalez0027 karma

A couple of things. #1 Take good notes. I hate being asked the exact same question because you forgot you asked me months ago.

2 make sure you try to connect with the child. Making them feel at ease makes everything you do easier for everyone.

And thank you so much for your help and support.

twustwervy23 karma

What Reddit has done is beyond heartwarming! I wish you all the best.

I just have one question, I hope it's ok to ask (and I hope I've worded it ok) : Was it at all hard to explain to Lucas his situation when you first did, or not?

Lfgonzalez0030 karma

Lucas was diagnosed when he was 6 months old so he has more or less grown up with the treatment and lifestyle as his norm. We've talked a lot about going back to Duke but he's doesnt quite comprehend the scope of the situation which is probably for the best.

twustwervy12 karma

Thank you for answering! Good luck!

Lfgonzalez0016 karma

Thank you!

Unixchaos20 karma

I'm in Clayton NC. Its a small town right to the east of the Raleigh Area which is were OP'ers family will be moving for Lucas' Treatment. I was born here and know the area well/as well as having life long friends that live in Raleigh area around the block from were they will be going to be living if they need local int. on the area feel free to pm me. Sorry my pay pal had so little but it looks like reddit made up for my financial inadequacies.

PS if you wait to get tattoo in Raleigh area I'm sure we have some very good artist that will give you a good deal. I'd suggest not on your butt cheek like one post suggested and a shoulder tat. not typical (thinking one on the front of shoulder/chest that is always hiding just under a Tshirt for fast non law breaking showing off.

Lfgonzalez0026 karma

Thank you so much. I really appreciate all of the offers for help we've received from people who are in that area.

As for the Tattoo, I think I need to get it ASAP :)

GalactusIntolerant20 karma

What was your initial reaction when Ironyx wanted to share Lucas' story with Reddit? Best wishes to Lucas and your family!

Lfgonzalez0031 karma

Thank you for you support! My initial reaction was literally "I don't know if that will work." while secretly thinking that may be a great idea.

JerkingOffToKarma20 karma

I can't wait 10 years from now when Lucas understands all this better and becomes a pro redditer!

Lfgonzalez0028 karma

Im gonna start saving for his Reddit Platinum account.

CoffeeNTrees19 karma

Lucas for President!

Lfgonzalez00102 karma

He's actually more interested in being an Astronaut. He wants us all to go to Jupiter in a rocket ship to see the robots there.

fintel19 karma

i wish i could do more for you but im only a kid and cant give you any money but i want to wish you the best of luck and lucas too!

Lfgonzalez0020 karma

Corny as I know it sounds, just caring makes a huge difference. Thank you so much for doing that.

Lunaesa19 karma

Good luck, Lucas!!! You have a beautiful smile. :) Can't wait to hear how you're doing. Stay strong, little man! (And stay even stronger, Mom, Dad, Liam, Auntie Lisa and Ironyx!)

Lfgonzalez0016 karma

Thanks for the love.

goodmorningfuture18 karma

Does Lucas prefer McDonalds or Burger King french fries?

Lfgonzalez0027 karma

Just to clarify, old Burger King fries or their new fries?

umen7215 karma

Best of luck to you. I hope the money is spent well and Lucas makes it through!

Lfgonzalez0026 karma

Thank you so much Umen72. We will make sure that everyone stays updated on his progress and are really humbled to know that he basically has the whole world of Reddit (i.e. people who are awesome) to support him.

AmbiguousStatement14 karma

How does Lucas feel about moving to Duke (albeit temporarily)? Does he know this is "the big one" or is it just another trip to him?

Also, what's his favorite animal? :)

Lfgonzalez0018 karma

It's really hard to get him to understand it's a more significant trip than normal. He likes going to Duke. The care and attention he gets is literally world class and he has very positive associations with the doctors there and the place in general. He has started asking about going to "Carolina" a lot though. We'll just keep talking about it so he isnt surprised. Thankfully there is a good amount of time to help him transition.

Fallen_Man13 karma

I just have a quick question for Lucas I hope he's still awake. What do you want to be when you grow up and why? I hope all the best for you, Lucas, and your family.

Lfgonzalez0031 karma

Gah! Im so sorry, He has been up this whole time and only just went to bed. I can tell you though he really talks a lot about being an astronaut or super hero.

theonlycuregirl13 karma

I was in tears this morning when I came back to your post to check how much had been raised. Did you guys cry? How does it feel to have such a weight lifted? How did you tell Lucas? Lucas: I am so very excited for you! Light & Love, buddy!

Lfgonzalez0021 karma

I can't say I've cried yet. I think I am still seriously in shock. We couldnt sleep at all.

That said it is a tremendous blessing to know that we can just worry about taking care of each other through this process and not about how we'll pay for his care. Thank you again to everyone for that.

Jamie_11 karma

No questions here, just a simple "get well soon!" to Lucas. I wish all the best to you and your family and hope things will start to improve for all of you as soon as possible.

Lfgonzalez0011 karma

Thank you so much Jamie. Knowing people care so much is really going to help us through all of this.

Kimbar9 karma

Best of luck to you and your family. Please let us know if we can send some Christmas cards (if you celebrate). If so, where we should send them.

Lfgonzalez0017 karma

working on getting a PO Box for this. Will update you guys ASAP.

[deleted]9 karma


Lfgonzalez009 karma

Thank you so much for the support! I have a lot of family in Hollywood so you are close to them too! :)

Lfgonzalez008 karma

Thank you all again so much for everything. I am going to get some sleep and try to answer the rest of your questions tomorrow. Long Live Reddit.