On October 26, 2013, just 3 weeks after his 5th birthday, Luke was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma.
He underwent tumor resection, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiation, antibody therapy, and a chemotherapy study. He had no evidence of disease for 2 years & off treatment for 6 months. At his 9 month post treatment scans his cancer had relapsed & he went back in treatment. After another 2 rounds of antibody therapy & 2 rounds of MIBG therapy, he once again had no evidence of disease! Luke was on maintenance medications & chemotherapy to prevent a second relapse when his 9 month scans once again showed the cancer was back 3 weeks before his 10th birthday. After 2 more rounds of antibody therapy Luke once again had no evidence of disease. He finished 4 more rounds of antibody therapy with scans to follow. Sadly, in August 2020 he relapsed for the 3rd time and enrolled in an immunotherapy clinical trial at Texas Children's.
Team LukeStrong has been shaving with St. Baldrick's since 2014. Team LukeStrong exists to raise money to make a difference in the lives of children and their families who have been stricken with childhood cancers. Since our first shave, we've raised over $73,000 and spawned a second team in North Carolina, Brudders4Luke. After starting as a small team of 3 in 2014, Team Lukestrong has blossomed to more than 10 members and continues to shave at multiple events. This dedication to raise funds & Luke’s “Never tell me the odds!” attitude inspired the creation of the LukeStrong A Force Against Neuroblastoma Childhood Cancer Fund.
LukeStrong A Force Against Neuroblastoma Childhood Cancer Fund was established to further fund neuroblastoma, immunotherapy & targeted therapeutics research and childhood cancer supportive care & survivorship. Luke has benefited throughout his battle from many St. Baldrick’s funded treatments, facilities & care givers. We hope to help find new therapies that are more kid friendly & effective. We hope to support the survivors of childhood cancer on their long road ahead. Currently there is no road map for treatment for a third relapse for a child with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. With St. Baldrick’s, we hope to find the next preventative or, if necessary, treatment for neuroblastoma.LukeStrong!
Donations given to the LukeStrong A Force Against Neuroblastoma Childhood Cancer Fund have funded a St. Baldrick's Fellow grant for Matthew Kudek, M.D.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of leading experts in the childhood cancer community, to ensure that every dollar makes the greatest impact for kids with cancer.
These people make us smile - they're the doers and money-raisers on behalf of the LukeStrong A Force Against Neuroblastoma Childhood Cancer Fund. They're shaving their heads, hosting events, starting fundraisers and more to make childhood cancer research possible.
Start your own St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event to raise money on behalf of our Hero Fund! You’ll be paired with a staff member who will walk you through every step of the process, and you’ll have fun knowing you’re doing a great thing for kids with cancer.
Register to shave your head and raise money for our Hero Fund at any St. Baldrick’s event happening around the world! Not finding an event near you? Register as a virtual shavee and shave your head anytime, anywhere.