As a student at the Durham School of the Arts, Lucas enjoyed running with his cross country teammates. During training, the family noticed that the glands in his neck began to swell. Shortly after this, Lucas began to experience labored breathing which led him to a three-week hospital stay and ultimately to his cancer diagnosis.
“The whole family was shocked to hear the diagnosis, but we took turns spending the night with Lucas in the hospital so that he would have a loved one with him,” said Miranda. “His diagnosis and treatment plan also impacted his following school year, with Lucas opting to take most of his classes online.”
After undergoing three months of intensive chemotherapy and an additional three weeks of radiation therapy, Lucas began to think about receiving a wish through Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina. Since his family has a deep passion for the sport of hockey, Lucas selected to attend the 2018 Winter Classic featuring the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres playing on an outdoor rink at Citi Field in New York City.
Despite the bitter cold weather, the family enjoyed watching the teams practice from the bench, allowing them to interact with Lucas’ favorite players. Lucas also attended the rocking NYE NHL party, celebrating the start of a new year with NHL staff, family and friends.
“The experience gave Lucas something to truly look forward to after his long treatments were over,” added Miranda. “The 2018 Winter Classic was a great opportunity to do something extremely unique in the world of hockey fandom and to visit the wonderful city of New York over the New Year's holiday.”