In September 2012 Luke had begun to experience back pain so he visited his local GP who originally thought Luke had growing pains. When he made no improvements, his family took him back to the doctors who believed he had scoliosis. An x-ray revealed a mass on Luke's left adrenal gland and shadows on his spine.
He was then admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and within a week was transferred to University College Hospital, London. His family were given the devastating news that he had stage 4 (metastatic) high-risk neuroblastoma. Oncologists were adamant that Luke needed immediate treatment and he began a course of induction chemotherapy. Luke then took part in the LuDo trial (targeted radiotherapy), had a stem cell transplant (where he suffered from veno-occulsive disease, and was treated with defibrotide) and photon radiotherapy.
Luke completed treatment in August 2015 with scans showing no active disease. His scans in January 2016 continued to show the all clear and Luke was doing well; even getting himself a job. He started college, with a passion for performing arts, and experienced being a normal teenage boy and enjoying life.
In October 2019, sadly scans showed that Luke had relapsed. He enrolled on the MiNivAn trial but was unable to continue. He began immunotherapy but only managed to complete one cycle as he suffered an extreme reaction and neurotoxicity to the anti-GD2 antibody which left him highly unwell and requiring an extended stay in the ICU. Luke pulled through and although left with some residual disability, finally returned home in March 2020. Luke had to relearn how to walk.
Further scans revealed even more disease progression, and the family were given the devastating news that there were no further curative treatment options for Luke.
Luke sadly passed away on 12th November 2021.
Solving Kids' Cancer UK's Big Love Fund is inspired by Luke. It was launched in 2022 to provide financial grants to children and young people affected by neuroblastoma in the UK and Ireland to promote their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Luke was passionate about Solving Kids' Cancer UK's work, and would have given everything to ensure others were okay, which is how he inspired the Big Love Fund.
Having faced years of aggressive and toxic cancer treatment, Luke found solace and comfort in the world of Marvel and gaming. When Luke and his family received the devastating news that there were no curative options for him, he had a special wish to play the not yet released Marvel’s Midnight Suns game rom 2K and Firaxis Games.
His wish to play this game sparked a remarkable series of events and a groundswell of support across social media from the gaming community, which resulted in Luke’s wish coming true. Incredibly, 2K – the game’s publisher – reached out to Solving Kids’ Cancer UK and a member of the 2K team visited Luke with a special in-development version of the game, making Luke among the first few people in the world to have the chance to play. He is now forever immortalised in the game with a special tribute – his name engraved on a tree.
In Luke’s own words...
Big Love. Only Love. Always Love.
Donations made in loving memory of children
Funds raised in loving memory of Luke will be used to support other children and young people like Luke and their families through Solving Kids' Cancer UK's activities. Any funds raised through a previous fundraising campaign for access to treatment which were not spent on the child's treatment and pastoral needs are used to support other children and families through Solving Kids' Cancer UK's activities.