Lukas Kusters

First post: May 14, 2016 Latest post: May 24, 2017
We've created this page as a central location to keep friends and family updated as often as possible.  Because of Lukas’ current condition, we ask that anyone who wants to visit him contact us beforehand.  We so greatly appreciate the outpouring of support, words of hope and encouragement, and prayers that we have received.  Lukas is greatly loved by many.  

Lukas is an 8-year-old football superstar, otherwise known as the Dutch Destroyer.  He’s got three older brothers and a younger stepbrother – Jonathan, Anthony, Travis, and Caden.  But they would all agree that Lukas is the toughest one of them all.   

In mid-April 2016, Lukas began having stomach pains, vomited a few times, and lost his appetite.  After it continued for about a week, we realized it was probably more than just a stomach bug.  On April 22, 2016, we took Lukas to the pediatrician.  The doctor noticed what felt like a mass in his stomach.  He had an x-ray that day and within a few hours we were told to take Lukas to the ER for further testing.

Initially, the ER doctors thought the issue was with his appendix or maybe even constipation.  But after hours of additional testing and scans, the doctors determined the true cause of Lukas’ stomach pain - a tumor the size of a grapefruit.  After a few days of additional testing (which felt like an eternity), we were given completely unimaginable news.  It was cancer.  Our beautiful, healthy, football-loving, active, snuggle-master of a little boy has cancer.

That weekend, we were allowed to bring Lukas home to rest, spend time with his family and friends, and do some of the things he loves.  We took Lukas back in for a CT scan on Tuesday, May 3rd.  The test results showed that the tumor had already grown over the course of the weekend so he had to be re-admitted that day.   

Lukas’ cancer is a rare form called rhabdomyosarcoma.  The tumor is limited to his abdomen; however, the cancer is also in the lining and fluid of his stomach.  Lukas had surgery to remove a lymph node and place a central line in his chest.  He has had numerous scans, including bone marrow scans.  He has fluid continuously drained from his stomach.  The fluid in his stomach has caused his lower extremities to swell and give him trouble breathing.  Therefore, a breathing tube was inserted on Mother’s Day. 

Lukas started chemotherapy in early May.  We expect that he will have to continue it for a year. Radiation is expected to begin summer 2016.  Once the chemotherapy has reduced the size of the tumor, Lukas will have surgery to have it removed.   

Treatment will be a difficult challenge but Lukas has already been facing every day and every challenge head on.  His primary goal is getting better so he can get back on the football field to play for Coach Snow.  Everyone that has met Lukas knows he is the strongest kid around.  Cancer doesn’t stand a chance. 

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