Family staying positive for little Luka

    Te Anau couple Toby and Katelyn Pascoe are working hard to stay positive while 19-month-old Luka battles cancer. An event is planned for tomorrow night to raise funds to help the family with medical and travel costs. Photo: Supplied

    ‘‘WE cry every night and we accept what is going on — but during the day, in front of Luka, we never let ourselves be negative.’’

    A Te Anau father describes the tough battle he and his family have been going through since 19-month-old son Luka was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma cancer in his stomach, legs and skull area.

    His parents Katelyn and Toby Pascoe know they can not change the reality. But they have decided to stay positive, ensuring Luka can enjoy life as any young child should be able to.

    ‘‘Our whole philosophy is that we can’t change what has happened and there is no point trying to hide from the reality of this,’’ Mr Pascoe said.

    ‘‘Cancer doesn’t just win. Luka is not cancer and cancer is not Luka. He is a lovely child who is very kind.’’

    Mr Pascoe said their journey started about a couple of months ago when they noticed Luka was struggling to walk.

    After a series of scans and examinations, his parents were told Luka had high-risk, stage three neuroblastoma cancer and because of the level it had spread through his body, he had a 50% chance of living.

    ‘‘This was probably the toughest moment of our lives. What is tough is that only 106 kids in New Zealand get cancer every year.’’

    The family was sent to Christchurch to stay at Ronald McDonald House for about 16 months while Luka undergoes chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and surgery.

    Luka’s parents decided to create a website, Luka’s Journal, to share his story and potentially help other people in the same position.

    ‘‘The idea of Luka’s Journal is to be able to hopefully one day show him what he survived and how many people supported him.’’

    A GoFundMe page has been set up and, tomorrow night, a fundraising quiz night will be
    held at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club to help the family with medical costs.

    Tickets are sold out but a virtual live auction will run from 7.30pm for anyone wanting to support the family.

    Mr Pascoe said he was overwhelmed and thankful for the immense support the family was getting.

    At the moment they were working hard to stay positive and keep the days fun.

    ‘‘He is a very loving and very kind child. While he is getting through chemotherapy, he always makes sure that we have food and are good. We are absolutely proud of our son.’’

    • To find out more about Luka’s journey and the online auction, go to