Luke's story: #erasekidcancer
Child details his fight against cancer
On Tuesday, Sept. 1, Cook Children's began this year's #erasekidcancer campaign for Children's Awareness Month with a ceremonial 1kwalk. Fifth grader Luke Lange, who’s in remission for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stepped up to the podium and lowered the microphone to fit his 10-year-old height to share what Cook Children’s means to him. We found it so inspiring, we thought everyone should hear his story.
Hello everyone. My name is Luke Lange. What a beautiful day for a walk to help erase cancer. I am very honored to be with you today and to have the opportunity to tell you my story.
I like to think of myself as a pretty normal kid. I enjoy football, basketball and golf. I like to hang out with my friends and of course obeying my parents. When I was in third grade, something happened that changed my normal years into my most challenging.
My grandparents came into town for a Veteran's Day celebration at our school. My grandmother noticed my neck was swollen on one side. She is always giving my sister and me the "grandmother inspection" so I didn't think much of it. I didn't feel sick so I didn't think anything was wrong.
After a few months of antibitiocs, blood tests, scans and even a biopsy all of which came back fine, my doctor decided to remove the swollen lymph nodes so everyone would stop worrying. In fact he said, "Let's get this done so you guys can go and enjoy spring break."
Once the lymph nodes were removed, the results showed I had Hodgkin's lymphoma or in simple terms: cancer. Spring Break was replaced with surgery to put in a port and I started my first round of chemo. My third grade year was over. My family and I were now focused on getting me healthy.
Before this, I had never stayed in the hospital overnight. Now I would check in for days with a machine hooked up to me constantly to give me medicine. Sometimes when I would like getting out of the bed, I would walk the halls of the cancer floor. As I walked the halls with my family and friends I noticed that some kids just like me and sometimes younger didn't have family with them during treatment. Sometimes those kids would only have a nurse or a child life specilaist with them during chemo. I can't imagine how they felt.
Everyone I met and dealt with at Cook Children's made dealing with cancer the best that it can be. Yes, I had to do the treatment, get sick, follow the rules and when my counts get low, I was the one that had to go into isolation, but the team here at Cook Children's was with me every step of the way. I always felt safe because my parents and so many people were there to support me.
Having cancer is scary for everyone. My family and friends and the team here at Cook Children's prayed and supported me and our family. It takes so many people to fight this disease.
My parents tell me that having cancer was a chapter in my life. It will and has changed my life forever. One good thing that came from this experience is that I designed a shirt to help me and other cancer patients not feel so sick while they are doing treatment. I was given the opportunity to partner with Mark Cuban. How cool is that? But one of the most important things I learned is that we all have to help each other. Especially, those who need our help.
Today is the kick off to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Just by you being here, you've made a commitment to help kids like me. Thank you! In a few minutes, we will begin the walk. We are walking for the kids and their families on the floor who would love to join us, but can't. We are walking because we know that everyone can help make a difference.
You have inspired our family to give back. Our family can do many things, but we do not have the knowledge and the expertise that each of you have to help "Erase Cancer." Our position on the team is to drive awareness and help raise much needed funds so you guys can stay focused on the task at hand.
To kick off the month and this walk, we would like to donate $5,000 to help ERASE CANCER!