TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "He was always funny. Always cracked you up," said Ford and Cecilia Valencia are talking about their son Carlos.
"He taught us what life was all about. Why life matters to us and to everybody," said Ford.
Carlos was 12 years old when he started getting bruises on his legs.
Then all of a sudden, he was sick. So, he was missing school.
"He didn't feel like getting up from bed," Cecilia said.
Cecilia tells KGUN9 they went to see the doctor and that's when things turned serious.
"Carlos was right there and I didn't want him to worry about what the doctor was saying. So, when we hung up, I couldn't help myself. I kind of started crying a little bit and he goes, what's the matter mom and I told him I said you're really sick." Devastating news. "That's when they found out. He had leukemia," Cecilia said.
As treatment began, Carlos and his parents took on the battle. "All those blood drives that they did he always said that if there was nobody that that could help him at least they were helping others like him that needed that help," said Cecilia."
"But he was a fearless warrior, you know he was very positive. He knew the challenge," said Ford. He says for a year Carlos was fine and then he relapsed. "It was very hard, because when we went into the clinic that day and he had to get his own cells back, I could see that he was devastated.
That he was losing the battle and he wanted to cry, but knowing because I was there, he was trying to hold back," said Cecilia. Staying strong, the family was touched to see how the community came out to support them.
"He was amazed at how many letters he got and cards and get-well cards people wanting to pray for him to get better. So, that was amazing," said Cecilia." We were in shock when he died. We didn't thank the community like we should have and this is the time to thank them," said Ford. A thank you for being there when they needed it the most." He brought a lot of joy and excitement, but for one moment we turned away and he was gone. He was very special," said Ford. They hope to continue to see Carlos and his legacy live on.