University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterCHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital
My son, Luke Aaron, fought DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a rare brain tumor located in the brain stem. He was diagnosed in January '09 at the age of 10 and died 9 1/2 mo. later on Sept. 30, '09. He was loving, caring, kind and always put others before himself, even during his illness. His most favorite thing in the world was Christmas time...not because of all the presents he would receive, but rather for the spirit of the holiday and what it stood for. He had an obsession with Christmas inflatables for the yard...and encouraged all the neighbors and anyone else he could talk into buying them to decorate their yard! He brought so much joy to those that knew him...always happy and smiling.
He loved to see others happy more than anything, and in trying to fulfill this desire, he wished to play "Santa" when he was sick, looking down the road to Christmas last year, and collect toys to take to the kids that had to be in the hospital over Christmas. So, since he didn't make it to the holidays, I wanted to carry on his wish. We started "Luke's Wish" Toy Drive two months after he passed in Nov. '09 and received a huge amount of toys with little advertising. This year, we have much more advertising and drop-off locations and have already doubled the amount of toys and it's only half way over! I am extremely excited about the generosity of others and can't wait to see the smile on the children's faces!
My son taught me so much while he was here and even in his absence. I stand with many others in the fight against Childhood Cancer and the cure that we are sure to find. I will never give up in this mission to find a CURE. My son and many other courageous warriors will never be forgotten, and I support all children that are still in the fight and for the ones that are yet to be diagnosed.