Update October 2018:
In December 2017, Jeff & Kate Heydlauff contributed to the Utopia Foundation to support projects in Uganda. In a collaboration between the Heydlauff family, the Utopia Foundation, and organizations in Uganda, the Heydlauff Family Health Camp was held in memory of Luke Heydlauff on July 25, 2018, treating 2,255 people living in an urban slum of Kampala, Uganda. Click here for the project report. The Heydlauff Family and Utopia Foundation hope to continue these types of projects along with others through the Luke Heydlauff Fund for Children. Donations to this fund will continue to be received and updates on upcoming and completed projects will be posted on this webpage.
The Luke Heydlauff Fund for Children was created in 2018 to support and foster an awareness of the needs of children everywhere and promote health, education, and happiness among youth in Uganda and the world.
Luke was born in Kampala, Uganda, on October 16, 2015. His birth mother, Winnie, not only brought him into this world but loved him enough to place him with people who could selflessly care for him while he waited for his forever family. In June 2016, Jeff and Kate Heydlauff traveled one more time to Uganda to bring Luke home to his forever family in Michigan.
Luke was a happy, smiling child from the beginning. In fact, his smile was described as “contagious,” “one that lights up the world” and “big enough to fill any room.” Luke’s big, brown eyes didn’t miss a trick. He learned to trust, with an understandable amount of trepidation, the many people who cared for and loved him unconditionally. Not only was he discerning, but Luke was a smart, gentle, kind, and most of all an extremely polite soul.
Luke was diagnosed with Pulmonary Alveolar Microlithiasis which led to many visits to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was the bravest hero through countless hospital appointments, procedures, tests, and admissions. In June 2017, the Heydlauff family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio for Luke to be listed for a lung transplant. In October 2017 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Luke received a double lung transplant. The family was able to return to Traverse City, Michigan in June 2018. Luke maneuvered this journey with grace. He loved his parents, played with his siblings, listened to music and savored his Goldfish crackers and potato chips.
Luke’s all too brief time on earth was surrounded by and epitomized by love. He passed away peacefully at home on July 16, 2018, with his parents at his side. Those who knew Luke will forever reflect the difference he made in their lives.
The Luke Heydlauff Fund for Children will reflect the many ways Luke’s time with us showed the difference one person can make, and the joy, pain, beauty, and fulfillment that comes from unconditional love.
Contributions to the Luke Heydlauff Fund for Children will be used at the discretion of the Utopia Foundation board of directors at the suggestion of Jeff and Kate to promote health, education, and happiness among Uganda’s and the world’s youth.
Unless requested otherwise, the Heydlauff family will be notified of donors’ mailing addresses and contributions to the Luke Heydlauff Fund for Children.