Family says toddler's death will raise awareness of disease

Family says toddler's death will raise awareness of disease

CADDO-BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Family and friends say their final good-byes Thursday to a toddler who died after battling a rare disease and working to find a cure for it.

Lexi Gordon, a Keithville 2-year-old, has inspired countless people around the world. The toddler died last Sunday after suffering from a terminal illness called Tay-Sachs disease. She would have had her third birthday at the end of March.

She was laid to rest Thursday after a funeral service at Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport. Friends of the Gordon family say Lexi's favorite things were sunshine, laughing, eating Gerber puffs and playing with her teddy bear.

"Such a young child that has had such an impact on people all across the world, she has reached thousands of people," said Kristin Fredieu, who attended the funeral.

Lexi's family has been raising awareness about Tay-Sachs in the hopes that more research will mean less lives taken by the genetic neurological disease.

"It saddens us all doesn't it. Not only to have that daughter, to have that first walk with her dad down the aisle, it brings a tear to their eye," said Major Narvo Robinson, who serves in the U.S. Army with Lexi's father. "Just yesterday I was listening to a song, I don't remember who did it, but it was called 'Butterfly Kisses,' and just listening to that song I imagined the Gordons and what they could possibly be going through."

And Lexi left a legacy far beyond just her family. Thousands of people from all over the country followed her battle with the disease on social media. In response, family and friends raised thousands of dollars for the Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation.

"Whenever I first met Lexi, I have a 19-month-old daughter, I saw my daughter in her . And so from day one she had my heart," Fredieu said. "I think so many people need to be made aware of it so research can happen and families can be helped and Lexi's life and her death weren't in vain, and that she has a true role and can finish her legacy."

The Gordon family is asking that donations in Lexi's name be made to the Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.