Stories

Meet the Luthers

The Luthers used CaringBridge for Nolan's rhabdomyosarcoma treatment.

On Memorial Day weekend of 2013, Kevin and Tara Luther noticed something odd: the left side of their son Nolan’s face wasn’t as animated as it usually was.

Their holiday weekend turned into an urgent-care visit, which then became a hospital stay. Within the week, four-year-old Nolan underwent two surgeries. At the end of the second surgery, a diagnosis: Nolan had a cancerous tumor called rhabdomyosarcoma.

The diagnosis came with a nearly year-long treatment plan. The Luther family’s CaringBridge website was up the week of the diagnosis. There, the family explained the tests—both physical and emotional—that they now faced.

In this two-minute video, Kevin shares how the family stayed positive throughout Nolan’s long rhabdomyosarcoma treatments.

On the Move

The treatment plan included a temporary move to Indiana for two months to get proton therapy, a specialized radiation treatment. Kevin and Nolan moved to Indiana while Tara and brother Emmett stayed home.

From a distance, Kevin relayed messages of the treatments Nolan was undergoing to combat the rhabdomyosarcoma. But he also shared the highlights – Nolan’s first baseball game, making friends who were also going through cancer treatment, squirt gun fights.

And through it all, from states away, the family was able to stay connected.

“During the course of treatment CaringBridge really was one of our most valuable resources,” Kevin reflects.

An Outlet for Connection

“CaringBridge provided an outlet to educate our readers, and was a way for us to show Nolan’s strength and resilience.”

“When we moved to Indiana for treatment, it was a window into our lives—a way for me to share with the world that Nolan was OK, and we were having fun, making friends and living out some adventures,” Kevin says.

“On our CaringBridge site, a community of over 1,000 people gathered. It brought everyone there to help support us. The messages we received helped lift our spirits and provide a little extra boost that made things more bearable. Having this journal provided a therapeutic release, and it helped me greatly to write.”

Healing for Nolan

And now Nolan is in remission. But his CaringBridge site remains active.

“Some day, when he is older, this record will still exist and we’ll be able to remind Nolan of all he went through and how brave and strong he was, and show him how much love and support he had along the way.”

But it won’t just be a tool for looking back, he adds.

“A little further down the road, I also anticipate that I won’t be doing the writing anymore, but instead, as he grows and continues his journey, we’ll be turning it over to Nolan.”

Connect and Share

Because of the connection and strength Kevin received during their long-distance cancer journey, he recommends CaringBridge for families going through a health event of any kind. Start a free CaringBridge website to share health updates and receive love and support from your family and friends.

If you’d like to join Kevin in spreading the word about CaringBridge, check out our volunteer opportunities.

Comments (17)

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Karen May 04, 2016 7:48pm
I will keep Nolan and family in my thoughts and prayers. My granddaughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma 4 yrs ago. She is now 10 yrs old and also in remission. Unfortunately, my 8 yr old grandson was just diagnosed with aplastic anemia and will have bone marrow transplant in 2 wks. I am very familiar with CaringBridge, as both families are using this site to update family and friends. This website is so wonderful and needed. God bless you and your family Nolan. Yes, God works miracles.
Pam Persons Apr 29, 2016 12:33pm
Nolan is such a sweet little boy, so cute too. Prayers for Nolan and his family also. I am also a Cancer Survivor.
John & Doris Carlson Apr 17, 2016 7:49pm
A great service for all. We appreciate the ease of communication for friends and family. John & Doris
Darlene Teck Apr 16, 2016 11:56am
Really amazing! !! May God bless you all!!!
Barbara Key Apr 16, 2016 10:14am
I really was moved by this! Thank you for sharing!
Karen Trujillo and family Apr 16, 2016 8:39am
Woke up this morning to your message. May Nolan live happy and pain free. I hope you and your family can be together and keep your chins up. CaringBridge is such a great way to stay in touch and have others learn from the good or bad we go through. Our thoughts are with you.
Maureen Hutchcroft Apr 15, 2016 10:35pm
I started a Caring Bridge when my husband got diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last September. It has been a wonderful way to communicate with friends and family to keep them updated on his progress and setbacks in treatment. It has also been an excellent way to journal our journey . . . an important form of therapy for me to be able to assimilate what happens each day and put it in words with my thoughts and feelings attached to the story. I update each day. I am amazed at how many people that have thanked me for keeping them up on our daily lives and how we are coping with this devastating disease. When we get through this treatment and through the bone marrow transplant and recovery, I plan to print these journal entries and put them in a binder. We will reread them and be grateful that we got through those days. More importantly, we will read the comments from our loyal readers and remember how they helped us get through it all.
carol kison Apr 15, 2016 7:33am
Praise God for His healing powers.
Judy Nelson Apr 14, 2016 6:34pm
Thank you for sharing this story! Our thoughts and prayers go with your family. Our daughter, Cheryl Keenan, is currently struggling with breast cancer and has a Caring Bridges account. It is a wonderful program for which we are extremely grateful. Thank you!!!
Margaret Hodge. Apr 14, 2016 4:45pm
Thanks for sharing. Our family have had three family members on Caringbridge within the past nine years. We are so grateful for this avenue through which to communicate with friends, family, and strangers. Strength through words of encouragement, and prayers kept coming to us. Forever grateful v
Donna Apr 14, 2016 2:55pm
My 5 year old Granddaughter was diagnosed with B-ALL leukemia 2 weeks ago, Thanks for your encouraging story
Tom Apr 14, 2016 2:42pm
Hi Friends - CaringBridge is a great way to Pray for families in need and allow God to do what we cannot do for ourselves. They also keep you informed of how the individual and family is doing with periodic updates so you can Pray accordingly. I was introduced to CaringBridge by a Prayer Request at my Sunday School. I highly recommend being involved with CaringBridge with your Prayerful and financial support. It's a God Send for families in need. God Bless you!
Sandra Apr 14, 2016 11:11am
May God help Nolan to stay healthy throughout his life and enjoy it to the fullest together with his family !!!!! Our prayers !!!
Thomas Morofski Apr 13, 2016 10:58pm
Excellent excellent site! April 17 will be two full years since our 14 yr. old darling granddaughter Dana went home to be with Jesus at the scene of a horrible car crash. Her older brother Erik was driving her home from school. Erik's physical damage was so severe it was 4-5 weeks before we were given any real hope of his survival. But God's miracles still occur! As I write this Erik is still rehabilitating and progressing at home. It's been a long road of combined grieving and hope against hope. We are grateful to our Lord for his healing, mercy and love. CaringBridge was a huge help so many-many days keeping family and friends informed and up to date. I highly recommend CaringBridge to any family or group in such circumstances as we've experienced.
Pat Miller Apr 13, 2016 8:14pm
Praise God that Nolan is doing well. Prayers will continue for him and your family! God Bless. I'm familiar with Caring Bridge and know what a wonderful site it is for everyone.
janice.thomas@roanokeva.gov Apr 13, 2016 3:32pm
I am so happy that Nolan is doing well. Praises be to God. Many blessings and thanks to CaringBridge and Katie Dohman for all the support. I am praying for many continued blessings for Nolan and his family. Love and Blessings!
DJ Apr 13, 2016 3:01pm
Kevin,I am about to be 64,and I am disabled with systemic lupus,so I have alot of time at home. I am happy that Nolan is doing so well,and I will pray for Nolan and your family.May God Bless you all...