Chris Buescher

Chris Buescher #60

Driving for Patient Champion, Luke Benner

Birthdate: November 29, 1992
Hometown: Prosper, TX
Resides: Indian Trail, NC
Hobbies: Fishing, ATVs, motocross, movies, any fabrication work
Twitter: @Chris_Buescher

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Meet Luke

Hometown:  Mount Gilead, OH
Age:  5
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

On New Year’s Eve 2012, Luke’s parents noticed that his Lymph Nodes were very large and bulging from his neck.  An ER trip, a doctor’s visit, and an antibiotic didn’t create any improvement, so blood work was completed.  Based on the results, Luke was immediately sent to Nationwide Children's Hospital for evaluation where further analysis showed that Luke had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The next few weeks brought an array of tests, scans, chemo, spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies, and a lengthy hospital stay.  At first Luke’s parents felt like we were in a dream and could not truly understand what was going on.  His parents describe that time and their approach: “Our faith played a major role in what would happen next; we could either continue in denial and disbelief or we could face it head on.  Literally, Christ spoke to us and one night in the hospital I felt his presence holding me and I HEARD him say, ‘Do not worry, I have greater plans for Luke.  This is just a season he will go through. There will be times I will carry you through this and times that will feel I am far away, but KNOW that I am right here with you and Luke and your family for this entire journey.  Get up and move forward, he will be completely healed.’  So after the first few nights in the hospital we were ready to move forward with treatment, understand what was happening and began to look for resources to help.”

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Luke quickly began chemo treatments – including a schedule that would average an every other day visit to Nationwide Children’s for 6-8 months with a full treatment term of up to 3.5 years. Although there are times where the family still feels that initial sense of being in a daze, most of the time they are laughing, smiling, and fighting right along with Luke.  They love to do fun things as a family despite the challenges.  As Luke’s parents explain, “You sort of become handcuffed to the Cancer and must do what the treatment schedules calls for and clear your schedule.  It was super hard to even make plans for something because it seemed like the Cancer would have other plans. Over time, things have returned to our NEW NORMAL. Nationwide Children's Hospital has also been a huge ally in helping us with needs, support and it is an overall GREAT place that has many people working there that love our family and all the families that are frequent fliers.” Luke’s family is close and he adores his brothers and parents.  He also likes swimming, legos, superheroes, dolphins, all food (especially watermelon), and race cars. Luke is kind hearted, hilariously funny, finds the good in everyone, and always tries to help out.

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