Luke was a cheeky, kind and loving boy who loved having fun and asking questions. He was super competitive, which stretched to his keen interest in gaming and following his favourite YouTuber, Dan TDM.
Luke 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.
Prior to his initial diagnosis, 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’.
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 high-risk neuroblastoma was confirmed.
Luke endured countless blood and platelet transfusions, several gruelling rounds of treatment, including high-dose chemotherapy, eight 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. For his family this was “the best present ever!”. But in April 2018, a routine scan identified two new spots of disease and a relapse was confirmed.
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 enrol on the MiNivAn clinical trial on 25th August 2018, a brand new international clinical trial partly funded by Solving Kids’ Cancer UK.
But sadly, the trial did not have the effect that was hoped.
Luke passed away just before Christmas on 23rd December 2018.