When Allison asked us to share why Luke has been
successful one word immediately comes to mind. Grit!! In the face of multiple challenges over the years Luke has always persevered and never complains. His smile in the picture tells you everything you need to know about how Luke faces the world.
At age 5 Luke was diagnosed with epilepsy, in particular, absence seizures. Luke already faced significant developmental delays. By kindergarten he had barely acquired language, had difficulty paying attention, memorizing the alphabet and counting from one to ten. Discovering he had epilepsy, while scary at the time, gave us one more piece of the puzzle in our efforts to help Luke. His journey forward included the help of many amazing people like the Epilepsy Foundation’s own Allison Gamber who not only educated us on what to expect, but also his teachers at the start of each new school year.
Even with everyone’s help, Luke would not be where he is today if he hadn’t worked so hard. Over the last 15 years he has been to countless speech, occupational, and physical therapy sessions. (Never mind doctor’s visits.) He left his friends at the start of middle school to go 45 minutes away from home to a school that could provide him with intensive speech and language services. When he graduated eighth grade last year he gave a speech to his classmates, teachers and other guests. This was the same kid who could barely speak when entering kindergarten.
Today he is a freshman at the CT River Academy magnet school in East Hartford. Luke joined the CTRA news station, where he will be covering sports including having to interview his classmates and the teams’ coaches. He is completing his last two merit badges before beginning his Eagle Scout project and was selected by his peers to join the scouting honor society, the Order of the Arrow. Luke loves basketball, music and hanging out with his friends. While epilepsy is a challenge he must face, Luke does not allow it to interfere with experiencing life to its fullest.