Luke’s FastBreaks

April 6, 2017 PEDIATRIC SOCIETY OF GREATER DALLAS (DALLAS, TX)

In the spring of 2014, doctors gave Tracy and Ben Lange the nightmare diagnosis no parent wants to receive: your child has cancer. What followed was a year of treatment as 9-year old, Luke Lange, and his family lived in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices fighting off the deadliest disease in children under the age of 15.

Cancer forced the once active Episcopal School of Dallas student to trade in his school uniform for a hospital gown, which left little room for privacy and stripped him of his self-confidence.

In Luke’s words, the hospital gown made him “feel more sick.” While his 3rd grade classmates played outside, Luke remained trapped in the hospital. He wanted to feel like a normal child.

Eventually, Luke and his parents had an idea. They cut up the sides of his t-shirts and sewed in snap tape allowing for easy access to his port, IVs and lines while also giving Luke the ability to be in an outfit that looked normal and felt comfortable  (https://youtu.be/9gIqW99Rba0). Luke wore his new shirts to treatment at Cook Children’s Medical Center (Fort Worth, Texas), and soon, other patients started asking where they could get one.

Today, the nonprofit, Luke’s FastBreaks, has donated over 7,000 medical shirts to pediatric patients fighting cancer in 17 states, 25 cities and 30 different hospitals and Ronald McDonald House Charities across the country (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmQiGyVSI9U).

The medical shirts enable pediatric cancer patients to feel comfortable during their hospital stay while also boosting their self-esteem by allowing for self-expression with the different color options and designs. The medical shirts also restore their privacy—something that’s often lacking in the traditional hospital gown. The positive psychological impact the medical shirts have on children fighting life-threatening illnesses has caught the eye of doctors, child life specialists and hospital staff across the country.

When asked about the impact of the Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts on her patients, Pediatric Oncologist Dr. Kelly Vallance from Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas said that the Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts are “something that every child in treatment can use. It’s a tremendous benefit and gives (patients) a sense of normalcy while they are in the hospital.” 

The Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts come in hot pink, navy, royal blue, black camouflage, purple, white and red colors. The shirts start at 3T-Toddler and go into youth sizes finishing at Adult XXL, enabling every child in the hospital to find a medical shirt that fits properly.

8-year old Amery Green is currently fighting Mitochondrial Disease. Although she doesn’t have cancer she receives infusions twice a week. Amery’s central line port is located in the center of her chest raised about an inch on top of her sternum, unlike most ports which are placed under the skin on either side of the chest.

After receiving a hot pink medical shirt during the Luke’s FastBreaks visit to Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital in Concord, North Carolina Amery’s mother took to Facebook to share their excitement about the new medical shirt with others.

“When Amery is accessed it makes wearing clothes difficult. She has to take her shirt off and on several times during access and treatment. We have tried sports bras which compress the needle onto her site and causes pain. So most of the time she is shirtless and uncomfortable. Plus, her infusions are 6-8 hours long, start to finish. Imagine being shirtless and in the hospital that long.

Luke’s shirts are giving Amery her modesty back and she is no longer uncomfortable from being exposed. Plus, I love it because I can access her stomach easily for Igg and her feeding tube. Thank you Luke for the incredible gift!”

As a member of the Child Life Council, Luke’s FastBreaks partners with Child Life Specialists around America to organize hospital visits and even conduct focus groups researching how to make the medical shirts better for pediatric patients fighting life-threatening who stay in the hospital long-term.

To learn more about partnering with Lukes FastBreaks please visit their website:

www.lukesfastbreaks.org or email [email protected].

ALABAMA (2):

University of South Alabama Children’s (Mobile, AL)

Huntsville Women & Children’s Hospital (Huntsville, AL)

CALIFORNIA (2):

Sutter Children’s Center: Sutter Memorial Hospital (Sacramento, CA)

Valley Children’s Hospital (Madera, CA)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (1):

Children’s National Health System (Washington, D.C.)

FLORIDA():

DEC.6 (afternoon) Florida Hospital for Children (Orlando, FL) 

DEC.6 (morning) Nemours Children’s (Orlando, FL)

DEC.7 Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (Orlando, FL)

KANSAS (1)

NOV. 1 Wesley Medical Center (Wichita, KS)

KENTUCKY (1)

Ronald McDonald House of Kentuckiana (Louisville, KY)-mailed shirts

LOUISIANA (1):

St. Jude’s LSU-Shreveport Hospital (Shreveport, LA)

MISSOURI (1):

Kansas City Ronald McDonald House (Kansas City, MO)

NEBRASKA (1)

Ronald McDonald House of Omaha (Omaha, NE) – mailed shirts 

NORTH CAROLINA (4):

Levine Children’s Hospital (Charlotte, NC)

UNC’s N.C. Children’s Hospital (Chapel Hill, NC)

Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital (Charlotte, NC)

Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital (Concord, NC)

NEW JERSEY (1):

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital (Patterson, NJ)

NEW YORK (1):

Children’s Hospital at Montefire (Bronx, NY) 

OREGON (1):

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital (Portland, OR)

TENNESSEE (1):

Ronald McDonald House Nashville—drop-off not an official visit (Nashville, TN)

TEXAS (7):

Children’s Medical Center (Dallas, TX)

Cook Children’s Hospital (Fort Worth, TX)

Dell Children’s Medical Center (Austin, TX)

MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center (Houston, TX)

Texas Children’s — has the largest volume of pediatric cancer patients in the country (Houston, TX)

Ronald McDonald House Houston — Holcombe House (Houston, TX)

Ronald McDonald House Central Texas (Austin, TX)

VIRGINIA (1):

Inova Children’s Hospital (Church Falls, VA)

WASHINGTON (1):

Ronald McDonald House of Western Washington (Seattle, WA)

Luke Lange visiting Cook Children’s Medical Center in August 2016 passing out the Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts.

A photo collage made by Amery’s mother and posted on the Luke’s FastBreaks Facebook page showing how the medical shirts work with children who have lines, tubes and ports.

5-year old Karter at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City

Texas Children’s (Houston, TX) Hospital visit in July 2016.

Sutter Children’s Hospital in Sacramento, CA.

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

Texas Children’s Hospital visit from August 2016.

Luke Lange and his sister, Livia, pass out Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts and bracelets to patients receiving treatment at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

  OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

De-Anthony receiving his new medical shirt at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC

Desmina in Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas

Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, Texas – visit from July 2016