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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Fort Meade Welcomes Home 7-Year-Old Boy Who Returned from Hospital After Battling Cancer

by James Coulter

After spending more than four months in the hospital fighting cancer, 7-year-old Luke Shaver received a warm welcome back home with a parade in his hometown of Fort Meade.

On Thursday evening, Luke and his family participated in a homecoming procession accompanied by motorcyclists, fire engines, and police cars. The parade started at the Fort Meade Public Library and proceeded along East Broadway Avenue.

Even despite the light rain that evening, townsfolk lined the roads to cheer and wave handmade signs welcoming back the young cancer survivor. Even several cheerleaders lined up outside Fort Meade First Methodist to cheer him on with orange and black pom-poms.

“You are a great fighter,” one sign read. “You are so strong Luke, you have gone through so much,” read another.

Last August, Luke Shaver was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a rare form of Leukemia that affects 700 people under the age of 20 each year, with 500 affecting young children like him.

Luke had been transferred to Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, where he spent more than four months undergoing chemotherapy, surgery, and even a stay in the intensive care unit. Recently, his family received the good news that his cancer has gone into remission and that he will be free to return home.

When asked how it felt to finally be home from the hospital after spending more than four months there, Luke proved to be a young man with few words, saying that he felt “good.” His family also proved to have even fewer words, merely expressing their gratitude that he is finally returning home.

A Facebook page, Fight Like Luke, was created to allow people to show their support for Luke and his family. The page has more than 1.7 thousand members.

Eric Stogie Miner, State Boss of the Legion of St. Michael Polk County chapter, hosted several fundraisers to raise proceeds for Luke and his family. He was also one of the many motorcyclists who participated in the parade that evening.

As for how Luke and his family managed to overcome this ordeal, and how the community was able to provide as much love and support as they have, Eric owes everything simply to the glory of God.

“It is quite a blessing,” he said. “All I can say is that God has blessed us and I am just enjoying life right now. I think it is just God’s will, sending everyone to help out with all the prayers. I can’t thank everybody enough for all of the prayers and loving on this young man.”

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Staff Reporter

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