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'Love for Luca': Loveland family asks for help with special project for son with rare disorder

Jessica and Luca Discepoli
Posted at 8:21 PM, Apr 26, 2023

LOVELAND, Ohio — A Loveland family is asking for the public's help with a special project for their son.

Luca Discepoli was born seven weeks early, with a rare disorder called complete DiGeorge syndrome. He was missing a thymus, a gland located above the heart.

“I stay home with Luca 24/7,” said his mom, Jessica Discepoli. “We only go to the hospital.”

Luca spent the first 11 months of his life in the hospital. Now, at home, he remains in medical isolation. Jessica’s husband is able to go to work but must stay as isolated as possible. Luca avoids public places. When he visits public areas in the hospital, he stays in his stroller, which is covered by a plastic cover.

“A baby born without a thymus is a terminal condition,” Discepoli said. “They have no immune system. They have no chance of fighting off even just the common cold.”

Someone has to have eyes on Luca 24 hours each day.

“You have all these dreams when you first find out that you're pregnant,” Discepoli said. “You want to share your baby with the world and being in isolation, you don't get to do that. He's not met so much of his family. They only get to see him with the posts that I make online.”

Last year, Luca received a thymus transplant. Now, his family waits as his body continues to develop T cells. Eventually, he’ll be able to end medical isolation.

“It's looking like it's going to be in the summer,” she said. “He's been tied up to a hospital room for the majority of his life and better days are coming.”

In the meantime, Discepoli is asking for your help. She wants people to write “Love for Luca” on pieces of paper, and then photograph that paper in front of a special place.

“‘Love for Luca’ is to show Luca all of the places that he will be able to visit in the world,” she said.

Discepoli had received about 40 photographs by Wednesday afternoon.

“Hawaii, Rome,” she said. “We've gotten a few from India, just all around the world.”

Many are from complete strangers that have heard about Luca’s story.

“He's touched hearts around the world,” she said. “Now, he can actually see the world.”

You can share photographs with Discepoli through the ‘Luca Rising’ Facebook page or on their website.

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