Things aren’t exactly going as one might have hoped for Luke Adams and his parents Bill and Jo.
Luke was first introduced to readers last summer as he began his battle with Leukemia. A diagnosis which found the teen and his parents traveling the stretch between Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera and Oakdale on the very regular.
Luke, now 14, was beginning to turn a few corners and start to do well thanks to the dedication of mom Jo, an instructional aide at Fair Oaks and dad Bill, a military veteran.
As the family continued their dedication to the wellness of their son, the community rallied via fundraising events to help offset some of the stacking expenses. The Adams, sharing at the time they were both humbled and grateful.
Yet just as they began to breathe a bit again, things have changed. Just a few short weeks ago during a routine visit to Children’s Hospital in Madera, Luke was admitted.
According to Fair Oaks staffers and friends of Jo, the eighth grader had spiked a fever which concerned the medical team. Upon further examination it was determined he had sustained some type of infection which had grave effects on his overall health. His right lung filled with fluid, causing the need for intubation and then a medically induced coma.
Today he remains in Madera, with mom Jo at his side, as she and Luke’s dad work to balance home life and caring for his younger sister as well as Luke.
So what does one do? That became the question back at home as Fair Oaks staffers Leslie Carver and Theresa Gassaway brainstormed ideas with other members of the elementary school team.
The educators shared they were looking for a way to support the family and ease some of the financial stress from caring for Luke. Their priority, simple, and a quick way to earn some money, as well as include the community.
“We just kind of made phone calls and the next day, it was on,” Gassaway said of the take out dinner fundraiser now being hosted through a partnership with House of Beef.
Take out dinner tickets are currently on sale for the dinner, which will be offered on Wednesday, Feb, 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 each for a dinner which serves four. Dinner includes: a choice of tri-tip or chicken, corn, beans, a loaf of bread and two liter bottle of soda. Tickets are available at Fair Oaks, the Learning Tree Preschool or Oakdale Chamber of Commerce. Jaylene’s Baking also will be on site selling one dozen or a half dozen cookies. Cookies may be pre-ordered as well. Cash is preferred, however checks may be made to Fair Oaks PTC or Venmo’d directly to Jaylene’s Baking. All proceeds with go directly to the Adams family.
“They are beyond thankful, but they are very strong people that will not ask for help,” Carver said. “That’s really part of why we did it.”
Once granted permission by the family, the team went straight to T-shirt making for the 45 volunteers, ticket printing and flyer making.
“People are very generous in this town and people are always willing to help out, but this hits close to home. This is our family,” Gassaway said.
“They’re the givers. They would be the first ones to do it for somebody else,” Carver added of the family. “It’s just been incredible to see everybody pull together.”
Now as the volunteers work to sell tickets and ensure they have enough for all who come to support, while they are overwhelmed, they are also grateful.
“I think when it happens people rally,” Gassaway said of hardship and the community’s proactive way of support. “When they need to rally, they rally.”