Luca’s Story

Site created on April 10, 2019

On April 1, my husband went into surgery to replace a worn-out aortic valve, repair a dilated aorta, and have reconstructive surgery on his chest.  Many people prayed, and the surgery was a great success. The night before his surgery, however, we took Luca – our four-year-old grandson whom we have raised as our own son since he was born– to the ER due to concerning neurological symptoms. Tests showed a mass on his brain stem that was quickly diagnosed as a malignant tumor known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).  This form of brain cancer has no known cause and no known cure. It affects about 300 children a year, usually among 5-7 year olds. Life expectancy after diagnosis without radiation therapy is about 4-6 weeks, with a median survival of 9 months with therapy. Fewer than 1% of diagnosed children survive five years. Needless to say, we are shattered and still struggle to process this shocking news. Our lives have stopped as we strive to comfort and care for Luca while we prepare for his radiation treatments. We ask for prayers on behalf of our precious little boy, my husband’s full and complete recovery, and peace for our family as we look forward to Luca’s healing-whether it happens on this earth or in heaven. Please pray that the radiation and other treatment protocols we are following will lengthen our time with our beautiful little boy. We earnestly hope for some quality time to create special family memories with Luca. Pray also that Luca will be able to withstand the six week course of radiation, for which he will be under anesthesia every day. And also that God, in ways we can’t imagine right now, would somehow be glorified in this situation and in Luca’s life. God is still a God of miracles, and we cling to this truth as we wait for His plan to unfold.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Catherine Velleco

Unfortunately, the closure we seek has extended beyond our grasp. Due to limitations we have no control over, we are forced to postpone the service for Luca. We are currently hoping to plan it for April, but we will have to wait and see. Please stay tuned and pray for God to reveal his plan for this service. Also, that we would remember the goodness and love of our Lord as we try to move forward.
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