Ambassador Luke celebrates $7 Million raised for childhood cancer research
When we asked 2013 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador Luke Fochtman what he wanted to say to all the amazing volunteers out there helping to raise money to help kids just like him live long and healthy lives, he replied with, “Thanks for giving me the chance to build more Legos!”
Thank you, Luke, we couldn’t have said it better!
At just 3 years old, Luke was diagnosed with stage IV embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that affects the muscles. He endured nearly 70 weeks of aggressive treatments — including multiple rounds of chemotherapy, daily radiation — and suffered through many central line infections. Through it all, Luke remained positive and strong.
Luke’s mom, Monica, says:
Diagnosed with stage 4 embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, cancer of the connective tissues, just five days after his third birthday, Luke endured 70 weeks of treatment – multiple rounds of chemotherapy, six weeks of daily radiation and many central line infections. “The amazing part is that Luke never said no to us. Not once, not ever,” his mom, Monica, recalls. He just fought the cancer. Now, two years off-treatment, he remains cancer free.
After nine months of treatment and 18 months of after-care my son is still cancer-free. I shaved my head for him, countless others who will follow him, and the many who went before.
Many children with cancer lose function in parts of their bodies. They sometimes lose eyesight, hearing, brain power, or bladder and bowel control like my son did. Radiation and chemo are often the only option for cancer treatment. Because of the advocacy, awareness, and fundraising from organizations like St. Baldricks, someday no child will have to suffer because of cancer. It will just be another day at the beach.
Advocacy is not hard. It just takes heart and a story to share. By sharing our stories with our congressional leaders we help future generations of cancer patients.
Wichita Falls, TX
Mother of Zachary, Age 4,
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