The Stroud family went through one of the scariest experiences a family can go through—a childhood cancer diagnosis.
Last October, Susan noticed a lump on the right side of her 11-year-old son’s face, just above his ear. Over the next three months, Luke would be put on two rounds of antibiotics, followed by an ENT referral, followed by a biopsy, which led to surgery. After weeks of testing, on January 15th, 2021, Luke received a final diagnosis—Follicular Lymphoma.
We are so happy to say Luke is now cancer-free! And the Stroud family is using this life-changing experience as a blessing to give back to other children who will face frightening hospital journeys as Luke did.
He’s fundraising to bring four Starlight Nintendo Switch Gaming stations to Levine Children’s Hospital.
Starlight Gaming stations provide hours of entertainment, distraction, socialization, and normalcy as children undergo long hospital stays. They roll right up to the bed or from the waiting room to the playroom and come preloaded with all the best Nintendo Switch games. It allows siblings to play together, a chance for kids to work on their hand-eye coordination, and a time to just be a kid and play video games.
"There are so many children that are not as lucky as Luke. Being a kid can be hard sometimes, but being a sick kid is hard ALL the time. Luke is determined to help these kids," said Susan.
Fortunately, Luke didn't need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation, but there are many follow-up appointments just like any cancer survivor. Luke will need to go to Levine's for a checkup every six months for three years, then yearly checkups after that.
June is National Cancer Survivor Month, and it's an opportunity for all 16.9 million cancer survivors across the country to celebrate their milestones and recognize those who have supported them along the way.
"This is what made us all decide that we had to live our lives in a whole new way, by giving back, by cherishing our time together, by taking better care of our bodies and basically anything else we can do to be better," Susan said. "That's where Starlight comes in. I think being able to give back is my medicine."