At age three, this little guy endured more pain and adversity than many people face throughout a lifetime.
It didn't seem fair, a little boy with so much to live for suffering from stage 3 hepatoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, with tumors in multiple sections of his liver. At age three, this sweet child has already endured more pain and adversity than many people face throughout a lifetime. This is the story of Luke LeHue and his courageous battle with cancer, as well as his life-saving liver transplant.
Before his diagnosis, Luke was a very active and healthy child. Then came the spring of 2013 and he was visiting pediatrician's offices for "insignificant" issues like strep throat, ear infections, and belly pain. But Luke's mom, Lori Lehue knew it was more. Sadly, doctors found tumors in Luke's liver and that's when life changed dramatically for the LeHue family. The family was told chemotherapy wouldn’t be enough for little Luke, he needed a new liver.
Luke waited and received treatments at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He spent three long, stressful weeks on the waiting list before he got the call that once again changed his life. At 5 in the morning, the LeHue family awoke to the call that informed them that there was a liver available to save Luke’s life. Crazily enough, this call came only ten days after Luke’s little sister was born giving him the chance to be an older brother for years to come.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the donor,” said Lori.
However, Luke endured post-transplant chemotherapy and suffered other complications that required him to spend another six months in the hospital. Although this was exhausting for his little body, Luke fought back once again and today he is living life to the fullest and he enjoys playing hockey and basketball. In 2016, Luke participated with other recipients in the Donate Life Transplant Games held in Cleveland.
Luke’s story has already impacted many people and has resulted in many of his family and friends becoming organ, eye, and tissue donors. Lori says that Luke has learned his own lesson from his journey, and that is the importance of giving.
“Life is the ultimate gift to give with the greatest impact,” said Lori LeHue.
Every person has a chance to save or heal a life through organ, eye and tissue donation. Say yes to organ, eye, and tissue donation because it could save the life of another man, woman, or child who is suffering from a life-threatening disease similar to Luke and his new liver that helped him overcome his battle with cancer.