24/12/18 We are deeply saddened to share the news that Luke has passed away.
Luke displayed immense courage and bravery to fight this horrible disease.
Our love and thoughts are with his family as they remember the incredible impact Luke had on so many lives.
Luke is a cheeky, kind and loving 8-year-old who loves having fun and asking questions. He’s super competitive, which stretches to his keen interest in gaming, particularly Roblox, Minecraft, Super Mario and following his favourite YouTuber, Dan TDM.
He was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in Spring 2017, a particularly rare and aggressive childhood cancer. After beating the disease once, he sadly suffered a relapse in April 2018.
His family are determined to keep all treatment options open to Luke, which means they are fundraising in case they need to access treatment that’s not available on the NHS. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“Despite all that Luke continues to go through, he rarely complains and shows immense courage at every stage,” says his grandma, Carol.
Luke had displayed symptoms that were originally passed off as typical childhood ailments such as a virus, growing pains, and ‘something going around school.’ But he looked pale, seemed to have less energy and his appetite was poor.
After a couple of months, Luke started asking to be carried because his legs were tired and he developed a little limp in his right leg. After he began to fall asleep at school his parents insisted on blood tests being taken by his GP. The same day the initial tests were done, his mum took a very worrying phone call to say that Luke had to attend the local hospital that evening for more tests and by the next morning, he was taken by ambulance to the Newcastle RVI as an emergency case after a doctor confirmed that the tests revealed something that was ‘suggestive of cancer’.
“It was such an awful night and one we’ll never forget,” says, Carol.
Over the next few days, further tests were carried out and it looked increasingly like the diagnosis would be leukaemia. But something new had been picked up in the tests and scans and the high-risk neuroblastoma diagnosis came through.
“It was a devastating moment for us. But Luke continues to buck the trend and it’s something that has been a consistent feature of his cancer journey. We took some comfort that consultants thought he was doing very well for someone with neuroblastoma.”
Since then, Luke has endured countless blood and platelet transfusions, a number of gruelling rounds of treatment, including high dose chemotherapy, 8 hours of surgery to remove a tumour above his adrenal glands and a round of radiation therapy.
Just before Christmas 2017, scans and tests confirmed that Luke was finally clear of disease. Described by Carol as “the best present ever!”
But in April 2018 a routine scan identified two new spots of disease and a relapse was confirmed.
“It was particularly cruel as he was just about to return to school and he’d only just had his first post-chemotherapy haircut.”
A new treatment plan was immediately put in place and a new course of chemotherapy commenced. Unfortunately, it had no impact at all and another two new spots of disease became apparent on a subsequent MIBG scan.
Luke became the first patient to be enrolled on the MiNivAN Trial on 25th August 2018, a brand new international clinical trial partly funded by Solving Kids’ Cancer.
“Just recently he was asked to give some advice to a close family relative who was about to undergo some relatively minor surgery at their local hospital. His advice was simple: stay brave and never give up. Which just about sums Luke up. He’s kind and thoughtful, brave and resilient. Oh and he’s as cheeky as ever.”
Luke’s fundraising campaign
Luke and his family are determined to keep all treatment options open to Luke, which means they are fundraising in case they need to access treatment that’s not available on the NHS. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
How you can help
There are many ways you can help Luke: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge.
Download our free Luke resources (below) to support your fundraising, and CLICK HERE for even more resources, including fundraising ideas, templates and guidance.
If you’d like help supporting Luke’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and firstname.lastname@example.org.