If Luke Gworek has his way, no kid will have to go home from the hospital with a sad-faced Band-Aid ever again.
Luke was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December. One day after administering chemotherapy injections, Luke's nurse apologized because the only kid-friendly Band-Aid she had left was one with a sad frowning face on it. When Luke inquired why it was the last one, she reported that the order had not yet arrived. Luke told his nurse that he would be sure to bring in a few boxes of Band-Aids the next time he was in the clinic because he alone was using about 20 of them every week after his shots, mediport access and lumbar punctures.
Luke's mother, Danielle, said that on the way home from the clinic, all Luke could talk about was that sad face Band-Aid and how it did not make him feel better. So they discussed starting a kid-friendly Band-Aid drive.
Luke is leading the effort to collect Band-Aids for Roswell Park Cancer Institute pediatric oncology units and Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo pediatric oncology unit.
"We posted the story on Luke's Journey Facebook page and the rest is history," Danielle said. "Luke has received Band-Aids from the Grand Island community and from all over the country. Massachusetts, New Mexico, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Wisconsin are just a few. Each day he gets excited when the mail is delivered to see where his next package is from."
To date, Luke has received approximately 700 boxes of kid-friendly adhesive bandages that he will distribute Sept. 23. Luke also chose to deliver the Band-Aids in September because it is the month of Childhood Cancer Awareness. Luke realizes at a young age the need to give back because so many people have helped him along his journey.
Luke will continue chemotherapy treatment until April 2016. He is a second-grade student at Huth Road Elementary School. He will continue to accept donations after Sept. 23 if anyone is interested in donating to his cause. Band-Aids can be mailed to Luke at 2070 Long Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.