Feature Photo By: Brooklyn Dolan – Lu sits on the couch playing video games with his stepdad, Michael Crall.
By: Brooklyn Dolan, Review Staff
Luciano, or as many people know him, Lu is this year’s child for charity. Rangeview leadership is going to devote this year’s fundraisers and money earned for special events to give to Lu and his family. He is a six-year-old-boy who was diagnosed with stage four, high risk, metastatic neuroblastoma.
It has been found in many parts of his body including behind his eye, in his abdomen, a few bones, some bone marrow, and his urine. He started treatment in September, and, according to his mother, he will probably be doing treatment for at least another year.
Since being diagnosed, he has started doing homeschooling due to that fact that he is unable to go to school with other kids – which would risk many sicknesses. Because of the current state of his immune system, he cannot be in an environment -such as a school – where there are so many potential sick people and germs.
Lu said, “I don’t like homeschooling as much as going to normal school.” He said that he doesn’t like how different it is and how he doesn’t get to be around other kids.
Even though he has only been doing treatment for a few short months, his numbers have already started going down. At his first check, the amount of cancer in his urine measured at 66.5 mg/g and 128.2 mg/g, but now they have greatly decreased, to 29.1 mg/g and 28.4 mg/g.
According to his mother, Jasmine Stealy, his treatment is going very well; his numbers are decreasing significantly and it is all going by quickly.
He is going through chemo and he is going to get stem cells transplanted into his body to do what they can. Additionally, he is going to be getting surgery to remove the tumor that the doctors found in his abdomen, but the date for his surgery is currently unknown.
Also, on November 1, he had a surgery to insert a large port that would allow for the doctors to remove the stem cells that will be transplanted soon. This surgery was supposed to be the day before – on Halloween – but after a quick change in plans, Lu was able to leave the hospital that night and go trick or treating with his family before going back to the hospital the next day to get the procedure done.
On October 12, soon after his cancer was discovered, he shaved his head. He had support from many people, such as his stepdad, his uncle, and many family friends, who shaved their heads with him.
Stealy said, “I am so thankful for all of the support and prayers.” She is very grateful for all of the support from Rangeview along with everyone else who has shown their love for Lu. “I couldn’t imagine not having the support I have from everyone.”
Lu isn’t Rangeview’s average Child for Charity, he is the cousin of RHS senior, Anica Dolan, and many other students who go to Rangeview either know him or know of him. He has attended a number of volleyball games and has been an influential part of the Rangeview community/family for years.
Rangeview sophomore, Devany De La Torre Hernandez, who has known Lu since he was two years old, said, “I couldn’t be happier to hear his numbers are going down and that he is doing good. We can only hope for things to go better, but I have no doubt that they will.”
Hernandez also said, “It’s surprising that even with everything going on, Lu is still the happy, joyful kid he’s always been.” After knowing him for so many years, she is trying to stay optimistic, and she’s hoping that he gets better.
According to his mom, considering how much is going on in his life right now, he is still managing to stay happy and push through it all. Many of the Rangeview students who know him have also said how surprised and proud they are of how he is doing.
All of his family says that they are so thankful for all of Rangeview’s support and that all of the support has been keeping them hopeful for Lu. Lu is continuing with his treatment and will be going through all the steps that are possible for him to get better.
To donate to Lu’s Go Fund Me page, click here: gf.me/u/m8cbmx