Help Luke become independent at walking/dancing and more!

For: Luke Hogan Laurenson
Ashland, OR
Organizer: Jane Hogan
of $34,000 goal
45% Complete
Raised by 189 donors

The Story

Luke's life began in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We were told that Luke had suffered brain damage, and might never walk or talk, and would likely spend most of his life in an institution. But along with that horrific news we were told that he did NOT have cognitive damage! 

Luke was diagnosed with Dystonic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, as well as the speech language disability, Dysarthria. I read numerous books on the various treatments for brain-damaged children. My research led me to the work of Moshe Feldenkrais's protégé Anat Baniel, and her method of Neuromotor movement therapy called the Anat Baniel Method (ABM).

While we were in the hospital, the social worker told us "95% of marriages will fail in these circumstances". Sadly this proved to be true for us. In 12/07, I made the decision to leave my marriage and become a single mom to my children. It would take 4 years for the divorce to become finalized and I was awarded sole custody of my kids.

A failing marriage and physical exhaustion had forced me to stop taking medical trips every few weeks with Luke. Miraculously in June 2015, Luke and I received a gift from Anat Baniel; she invited us to attend her first training for parents and brain injured kids. The first week back home, Luke was physically able to do 7 new things! It was the proof and motivation I needed to start ABM work again. 

Luke's medical journey the last 18 months has included a significant amount of travel for ABM "lessons", the SPML surgery in Texas, and finally, Ankle Foot Orthotics on Long Island. 

A work injury/disability prevents me from working anything more than part-time; not being able to be on a computer for more than 10 minutes a day, combined with my children's significant needs, has prevented me from returning to full time employment. I am responsible for half of Luke's medical expenses, with the uninsured medical including travel for Luke's care, exceeding $20,000 a year. His adaptive communication needs will add another $8300 in uninsured medical expenses in the next year. (He needs a new talk buddy computer to help him communicate)

Truthfully, I would rather do almost anything in the world other than ask for help. But I have an amazing 12-year-old son who has shown that his brain can heal.  

I've never met a child who is filled with so much joy and love as Luke. He has a very special connection to music and has been MADLY in love with Taylor Swift and has recently added Adele to his all-time favorites list. His most beloved thing to do is to dance. And his dream is to walk and dance independently one day. Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off" has helped Luke navigate literally thousands of rough moments in his life.

His medical doctors already considered Luke’s progress “miraculous” before this last year. But what has happened in the last few months has been beyond our wildest dreams. In December Luke took his first steps at walking independently and in January he took his first steps of dancing independently! He still has a ways to go at building up his endurance and technique. Yes indeed, the brain CAN heal itself! And I need to ask for your help to share this financial burden. 

Right now Luke still needs help with feeding, dressing, bathing and toileting, holding books, holding pencils, dancing, and walking. But with ABM work, all of this can continue to change and improve. I should add the two things this old soul son of mine doesn't need any help with, are holding hands and giving hugs!

Luke has already impacted many peoples' lives. I know in my heart that the more his body heals, the more lives he will change for the better. Please help me to lift this boy up so he can walk, dance, talk, become fully independent at daily living skills, and inspire others. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 16, 2018


Posted on May 16, 2018

Luke met his idol Taylor Swift!!!!!  Thank you to The Dream Factory for making this all possible.

Posted on May 8, 2018

Posted on May 8, 2018

Here is the new amazing video to help Luke that was made by Videographer Gabriel Al Rifai in collaboration with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival!  I hope you enjoy it.  Please share if you feel inspired to help. THANK YOU!!!

Posted on April 11, 2018

Posted on April 11, 2018

Hi Everyone,
Here is an update at last!  I am very sorry that it's taken so long to post again.  Thanks to all of your support, Luke and I were on medical trips three out of four months since my last update.  Sadly, we were then in a car accident on October 12, 2017 while traveling home from the Bay Area.  It was the week of those horrible fires down in Sonoma County and we were so grateful to be going home after many medical appointments for Luke in the smoke. Unfortunately a big Toyota pickup truck drove into us.  Luckily Luke was pain free after a few treatments,  but I have had a very hard time with my injuries and recovering from the accident.  The daily care for Luke has been very hard on my physical body as he's almost as tall as me now.  The last six months have been some of the most challenging since his birth.  

Time for some better and exciting news....

On April 28, 2018 at the Ashland Street Cinemas (1644 Ashland Street) at 10:30 AM we will be previewing for the public a brand-new fundraising video for 2018 "Oregon Shakespeare Festival Shake It Off for Luke".  We previewed the video at the OSF company meeting last week and it received a great response.  The video was made by Ashland realtor and videographer Gabriel Al-Rifai.  He is the same generous, kind-hearted, and talented man who made the Firefighters video with Luke for last years campaign.  He has worked his magic again!  Many of our favorite OSF actors and staff came out to help support Luke.

In other great news, we were able to make six medical trips for Luke last year thanks to all the money raised here. We were also able to get him a new talk buddy computer. Thank you thank you thank you for making all of this possible!  

Thus far we have raised $16,160 of our $34,000 YouCaring campaign goal and are deeply grateful for all of your support.  This year we are hoping to raise money for Luke's continued ABM/Feldenkrais neuromovement therapies (none of which are covered by insurance and which have made a tremendous positive impact on Luke) as well as an amazing machine that we hope to get to help with Luke's feeding.  Luke has to consume approximately 70% more calories than an average 13-year-old boy due to the extensive involuntary movement in his body. This means that he spends many hours a day eating.  This has been especially challenging for me to feed Luke with all of my body challenges from the accident. We are trying to get him a little robot called the Obi that has been invented for people like Luke with severe disabilities in their arms who can't feed themselves.  Of course it's not covered by insurance either!  

Luke will have another intensive series of appointments down in the Bay Area next week.   We hope to see as many of you who can make it out to the preview on April 28.

With much love and gratitude,

About the Organizer

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