Islander creates bursary in honour of son who died of cystic fibrosis complications

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Luke Allen, a former Morell Regional High School student, died in 2021 of complications from cystic fibrosis. (Submitted by Shari Affleck - image credit)
Luke Allen, a former Morell Regional High School student, died in 2021 of complications from cystic fibrosis. (Submitted by Shari Affleck - image credit)

The mother of a man who died after his body rejected a lung transplant has launched a new bursary for P.E.I. students, in memory of her son.

The Good Show Bursary will be awarded annually to a student at the Morell Regional High School who shows up to class each day with a positive attitude.

It's named after a phrase that Luke Allen, a former student of the school, would often say whenever he saw people try their best.

"Luke would be so impressed when people did their best effort to show up and try really hard," said Shari Affleck, Luke's mother and the person behind the bursary.

"It's not about getting the best grades in school. It's about actually showing up and trying your best and making people smile each day. And that's something he did consistently."

Allen was born with cystic fibrosis and underwent a life-saving double-lung transplant in 2019. But underlying health conditions and organ inflammation eventually led his body to reject the lungs.

He died last year at the age of 27.

"I remember that Thursday before he passed, and he was heavily sedated," Allen said.

"There's some things that we just can't explain in life. He opened his eyes and looked at me as I stood beside his hospital bed. And he squeezed my hand and he winked at me twice with his right eye. And he smiled. And I knew at that moment that he was passing."

Submitted by Shari Affleck
Submitted by Shari Affleck

The amount of the award will be $638 after Luke 6:38, a verse of the Bible that Affleck said has a special meaning for the family.

"September 20th, we decided that we would disconnected from life support at 6:38 p.m. That has a special meaning," she said. "[The verse] says, 'Give, and it will be given unto you.' And Luke gave the greatest gift."

Allen was an avid golfer and could often be seen hitting courses in P.E.I. Following his passing, the Island's golfing community raised thousands of dollars for people suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Affleck said she hopes to bring forward some events to benefit the community in Luke's memory.

"He gave his life to medical research. He gave his heart and soul into everything he did. He lived and breathed golf," Affleck said.

"I think he would actually say to me, 'Good show, Mom.'... I just think he'd be very proud."

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