By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (June 3, 2016) – While little Luke Nelson enjoys time at home, plans are underway for two events aimed at providing financial assistance to the family of the 3-year-old cancer patient.
A sporting clay shoot and 4-person golf scramble will be held June 11 and 18, respectively. Both events are open to team entries, with the sporting clay shoot also inviting individual participants.
Luke, the middle of Clint and Mia Nelson’s three children, was diagnosed with stage 3 Neuroblastoma last month. He was given a less than 50 percent chance of survival and a treatment schedule that includes almost two years of chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant and surgery to combat the aggressive disease.
“Today we are at home and will thoroughly enjoy the next few days until we have to be back at Cook Children’s Hospital,” Mia said Wednesday, June 1.
Luke will begin his second chemo treatment June 7, when doctors will also harvest his stem cells.
But the family is taking one day at a time. While Mia and the couple’s three children enjoy time at the family’s Stephenville home, Clint will spend a few days on the time clock at Schreiber Foods, taking advantage of the opportunity to collect a paycheck, according to Mia.
The cheese manufacturing facility and individuals who work there have been Clint’s coworkers for some time, but Mia said in the last month they have become part of the family.
Schreiber has agreed to match every penny raised through various events, which has already added up to about $30,000 for the family. The support has allowed Clint speed time with Mia at Luke’s side while he undergoes treatment in Fort Worth.
And Clint’s coworkers have upped the ante, organizing the two upcoming fundraisers.
Schreiber’s Stephenville plant manager Todd Nelson – no relation to Luke and his family – organized a meeting shortly after the boy was diagnosed, inviting employees to submit ideas for fundraisers, according to John Feltner, who works in the plant’s distribution center.
Ideas that came out of that meeting included garage and bake sales, and Feltner suggested the shooting event.
“A lot of us who work in the distribution center are outdoorsmen and enjoy things like hunting and fishing,” Feltner said.
Lone Star Sporting Clays in Glen Rose will host the clay shoot, which has an entry fee of $100 per person or $400 per team. The fee includes 100 target rounds and awards will be presented to the best individuals and groups.
An Annie Oakley Knockout station will also be set up, with the winner of each round receiving 50 percent of the pot. There is a $10 entry fee per round.
All shooters are required to wear ear and eye protection and bring their own 12 or 20 gauge shotguns and ammunition – 7.5, 8 or 9 shot.
A barbecue lunch will be served.
Lone Star Sporting Clays is located at 3355 West Highway 67 in Glen Rose, where registration will be held 7:30-8:30 a.m. on the day of the shoot. A range meeting will follow sign up.
For more information on the clay shoot, contact Feltner at (254) 592-3750.
The Luke Nelson Charity Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, June 18 at Par Country Club in Comanche. The 4-person scramble begins at 9 a.m.
The registration fee is $400 per team. Prizes will be awarded and a barbecue meal will be served to golfers.
Call (254) 595-1131 to register for the golf tournament.
“We are humbled by his plant manager and all the employees dedication to helping us both financially and physically as much as possible,” Mia said. “We are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support this community has shown us, and we are humbled by the efforts and time everyone is putting into these fundraisers.”
Looking at the past week, Mia said the family has faced challenges. Luke has spent some time upset, wanting to go home and no longer be sick. He doesn’t want to be subjected to any more pokes from the needle. His big sister Lilly wants the whole family together and not at the hospital all the time.
“She misses our old routine,” Mia said, adding that the youngest Lyla is quickly growing up in a world of instability and on an unpredictable schedule.
“It’s hard on her, and I feel like her needs are getting passed over,” she said. “Pray for Clint and I. To say it’s hard on us as parents, juggling everything and everyone is an understatement. I feel like I’m in mourning for our old life of two months ago, a life we will never again recapture.”
With faith and support, the family is learning to embrace its new normal.
“We have to trust God and know that He knows what is best for us,” Mia said. “He alone is how we will make it down that path. So please prayer warriors, be on your knees for Luke and us. This cancer may be affecting Luke’s body, but it is a cancer that is trying to attack our whole family and we aren’t going to let it win. We have Christ on our side and with Him all things are possible!”
Community members who would like to make a financial contribution to the Clint and Mia Nelson family may do so at First Financial Bank. For updates on Luke’s condition and information about upcoming fundraisers, follow Prayer Warriors for Luke Nelson on Facebook or Luke’s Prayer Warriors at caringbridge.org.