Luke R, age 10

Photograph by Shawna Nodine (2023)
Luke, sometimes called Lukey, is extremely outgoing, tough, and athletic. He enjoys playing sports, being outside, and playing Minecraft. A smile is always on his face when he is around his big brother, Harker and cousins Lily and Hudson. Luke is known for singing and dancing at his community’s annual Stargazers Camp talent show. From performing a one-man rock show, to making complete strangers smile, his intentions are pure and wholehearted.
Luke has a diagnosis of Down syndrome and Perthes disease, a rare condition that affects the hip. He expresses pride when speaking about his school, teachers, and friends. He is working on advocating for himself and asks others to listen and give him time to speak. He uses his calming tools and even reminds his family to use theirs. His mom says, “Luke is loving, the kind of kid who will yell from the other room: “Hey Mom…I love you.” He will walk into the kitchen and say “I love my family.” What more could we ask for?”

His parents believe Luke and other children with Down syndrome are not all alike. Luke is very smart, loving, and so much fun to be with. His parents wouldn’t trade one thing about him—well, they might diversify his palate—but that’s it!

Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.