ORLANDO, Fla. – A 9-year-old boy fighting cancer is finding strength by spreading comfort to other children with a special T-shirt.
Luke Lange came up with the idea during his hospital stays in Fort Worth, Texas, when he had to wear a hospital gown. Luke said the hospital gown made him “feel more sick.”
"He said, 'I hate the hospital gowns. I just want to feel like a normal kid.' And so (he) and his mom cut up the sides of his T-shirts and sewed in snap tape," said Britton Lynn Luke’s FastBreaks Executive Director.
His design, called Luke’s FastBreaks, works like tearaway basketball pants, with snaps sewn up the sides to allow for easy access to IVs, lines and ports.
It didn't take long for the idea to spread to more children's hospitals, including Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando.
"It's amazing, especially for a little boy to think of it and be so selfless and think of others," said Bethany Vanhorn, the mother of a 2-year-old patient at Nemours.
The Luke’s FastBreaks medical shirts come in pink, navy, black, blue, camouflage, purple, white and red.
The sizes range from toddler to youth all the way up to adult XXL, allowing every child and teenager who is staying in the hospital for a long time a shirt that fits properly. The shirts are donated to oncology and hematology patients at hospitals free of charge.
As of November, 5,000 medical shirts have been donated through the nonprofit to children in 17 states, 25 cities and 30 hospitals and Ronald McDonald House Charities.