Prior to his junior year in high school, Luke was training during the offseason and thought he had a typical nose bleed from working out. He was rushed to the emergency room when the bleeding wouldn’t stop and after getting treated he went to his family doctor the next day and his physician said he should get some blood work done. The test revealed his blood platelet level was a seven instead of the normal 140 so he was given a bone marrow biopsy immediately. The results revealed Luke had the rare blood disorder aplastic anemia.
Luke needed bone marrow transplant surgery but first they had to find a donor. Since he is mixed race, finding a donor was most likely going to be tricky. In the end it wasn’t. Luke has four younger brothers and two of them are identical twins and they were each a match. After four months in quarantine he had the surgery and his recovery was so quick he was back with his team 10 months later.
Playing college football was always a dream for Luke and he felt being diagnosed with a rare disease inspired him to push even harder to make his dream a reality. He walked on at UCLA, earned a spot on the travel roster his second year and continued to advocate for the Rare Disease Community by using his platform as a college football player to share his story.