Grand Blanc Honors Luke Duncanson & Helps Raise Suicide Awareness
He touched more lives in his short 14 years than most will in an entire lifetime.
Luke Duncanson tragically took his own life on October 29, 2014. A freshman at Grand Blanc High School at the time, Luke was excited to play lacrosse for his very first year. Immediately after his passing, family, friends, and the entire community rallied to not only bring awareness to the issue of suicide, but also to make sure that Luke's memory was kept alive in a positive and empowering way.
Luke's Legacy is Born
With a focus on letting young people realize their worth and realize that they matter, the Luke Duncanson Legacy Memorial Foundation was established in 2015. Their mission is simple, but so incredibly important.
“ It is our mission to empower, educate, and equip young adults, ages 13-20, for the realization and contribution of their individual life purpose and value.”
After his passing a special night of lacrosse was created in his honor. Lax for Luke brings the spirit of his smile to the field with proceeds from the yearly event have gone to promote awareness and empowerment activities through Luke's Legacy.
Lax-4-Luke events raised $10's Of thousands of dollars which were used in a variety of ways to meet their mission. They were able to partner with entities such as the Search Institute.org, and with Eric Hipple, the Detroit Lion’s alumni peer support group just to name a few.
The Legacy of #21
On Thursday night the Grand Blanc Boys Lacrosse team took the field once again in honor of Luke, but this night would have special meaning. In honor of the class of 2021, Luke's number, 21, was retired. Since his passing, the number has only been worn twice, once by his brother Drew, and once by his cousin. Andres.
Cynthia Duncanson, Luke’s mother told us about what the night meant to her.
“Retiring the number #21 came with a wide range of emotions. This is the number we have acknowledged for Luke in lacrosse; however, he never had the opportunity to wear it on his jersey at the Frank ( Frank Thomas Field) as a Grand Blanc High Schooler because he lost his life early his freshman year. At that time, my heart was full from the love and support from our lacrosse team, who all became and still remain an integral part of Luke’s Legacy. In Luke’s absence, his brother Drew wore that number to honor his memory until he graduated in 2017. Following that, his cousin Andres carried on that tradition. Andres graduates this year and it only seems fitting that the number is retired as we close the Lax for Luke chapter of Luke’s legacy in 2021 while we move on to the next.”
The Next Chapter
Duncanson is also excited to announce that they will be furthering their mission in honor of Luke by working on a project that will hopefully result in sustainable access to mental health services for every student in every-school throughout Michigan. Currently, less the 10% of the schools in our state are fortunate enough to provide such services. They will be working in collaboration with the Michigan State University Institute of Public Health under the Auspices of Honor Community Health in Oakland County. This amazing move has been made possible through a $200,000 grant award from the Michigan Health & Endowment Fund.
Since day one after Luke's passing, Cynthia Duncanson has promoted one strong message...YOU MATTER. Throughout the passed year during the pandemic depression has been on the rise and unfortunately that has come with a increase in the suicide rate.
It's important to know that help is out there. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please know that help is out there. For help, or more information contact the suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255. To help further Luke's Legacy or for information you can contact Cynthia Duncanson at Cynthiaduncanson@ymail.com.
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