A change in course


When Lucas' family planned their trip to the United States from Chile, they never dreamed it would include a hospital stay for Lucas to begin cancer treatment. Just days before the start of their family vacation, Lucas began having stomach pains. Tests revealed cancer. Their first stop in the U.S. — St. Jude.


St. Jude patient Lucas, brain tumor


In September 2016, 4-year-old Lucas and his family were getting ready to travel to the United States from Chile for their family vacation. With their passports in hand, the family was just weeks away from traveling when Lucas began having pains in his stomach. Initially, doctors in Chile diagnosed Lucas with an infection and sent him home.

But a few days later, the pain returned, and this time doctors suspected a mass. Within days, scans revealed Lucas suffered from neuroblastoma, a type of brain tumor.   

St. Jude patient Lucas pictured here with his family

Doctors immediately referred Lucas to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for his continuing treatment and care.

“All of the doctors in Chile agreed that St. Jude was the best place for Lucas,” said his dad, Carlos. “The work being done at St. Jude is years ahead of anything being done in Chile.”

At St. Jude, Lucas’ treatment includes chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor.

St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.

St. Jude patient Lucas putting icing on cookies with his mom

St. Jude patient Lucas putting icing on cookies with his mom

Lucas is responding well to treatment and the family is thankful for the care and support they’ve received. “All of the doctors and nurses at St. Jude have been phenomenal and continue to be with us every step of the way,” said Carlos. “We’ve never seen anything like this."

St. Jude patient Lucas in the snow

Help our families focus on their sick child, not medical bills.

When you make a donation, your gift means families, like Lucas', never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Donate Now


Meet more patients