Mission

“Our mission is to be a blessing and a light to others, just as Connor Luke was!”

The CLStrong Foundation is more than childhood cancer awareness, just as Connor Luke was more than a child with cancer. The CLStrong Foundation wants to bless others as we were blessed. Our goal is to be a blessing to our community, local families dealing with critical illnesses, whatever they may be, and to provide scholarships to deserving student athletes in Calhoun and Gordon County. Since September of 2021, the foundation has donated more than $75,000 to families in need, scholarships and community projects. Connor Luke loved big and we intend to use this foundation as a vessel to spread love and hope to others. God is good all the time! All the time, God is good!

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Mission

“Our mission is to be a blessing and a light to others, just as Connor Luke was!”

The CLStrong Foundation is more than childhood cancer awareness, just as Connor Luke was more than a child with cancer. The CLStrong Foundation wants to bless others as we were blessed. Our goal is to be a blessing to our community, local families dealing with difficulties, whatever they may be, and to provide scholarships to deserving student athletes in Calhoun and Gordon County. Connor Luke loved big and we intend to use this foundation as a vessel to spread love and hope to others. God is good all the time! All the time, God is good!

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

History/Journey

Letter from Chad (this is what was read at funeral)

As we lay our sweet Connor Luke to rest today, I want to thank everyone for your love and support throughout the past 18 months. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff at Scottish Rite, Egleston, Davita and Emory who took such good care of us and did everything possible to heal our son. We prayed for our miracle daily. The truth is, we already had our miracle. Connor Luke was the miracle! He touched so many lives and impacted all who knew him personally or those who simply followed his journey.

 

Neuroblastoma is a solid cancerous tumor that begins most often in the nerve cells outside the brain of infants and children younger than 5. It can form in a baby before birth and can sometimes be found during a prenatal (before birth) ultrasound. More rarely, neuroblastoma can also develop in older children, adolescents, and young adults. For more information visit: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/neuroblastoma-childhood/introduction 

 

 

It’s hard to explain how we feel. I think most would expect pure devastation. While we are devastated and heartbroken, Connor Luke isn’t! He’s healed, running wild through the streets of gold in his new, perfect body making everyone laugh as I write this. That’s who he is, not the child ravaged by cancer and end stage renal disease, but funny, energetic, not afraid to speak his mind. A child who loved to run and play in the dirt and mud anywhere, but especially “daddy’s field.” He loved to ride on the gator, tractor or 4 wheeler. He loved to wrestle with his brother, be thrown high in the air at the pool with his dad, then do crafts with his mom at the kitchen table. He loved his family, his brother, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are like family, all of you. He loved “his” church. He made it known every time we passed it, “that’s our church.” He LOVED BIG!

History/Journey

Letter from Chad (this is what was read at funeral) As we lay our sweet Connor Luke to rest today, I want to thank everyone for your love and support throughout the past 18 months. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff at Scottish Rite, Egleston, Davita and Emory who took such good care of us and did everything possible to heal our son. We prayed for our miracle daily. The truth is, we already had our miracle. Connor Luke was the miracle! He touched so many lives and impacted all who knew him personally or those who simply followed his journey.
It’s hard to explain how we feel. I think most would expect pure devastation. While we are devastated and heartbroken, Connor Luke isn’t! He’s healed, running wild through the streets of gold in his new, perfect body making everyone laugh as I write this. That’s who he is, not the child ravaged by cancer and end stage renal disease, but funny, energetic, not afraid to speak his mind. A child who loved to run and play in the dirt and mud anywhere, but especially “daddy’s field.” He loved to ride on the gator, tractor or 4 wheeler. He loved to wrestle with his brother, be thrown high in the air at the pool with his dad, then do crafts with his mom at the kitchen table. He loved his family, his brother, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are like family, all of you. He loved “his” church. He made it known every time we passed it, “that’s our church.” He LOVED BIG!

History/Journey

Letter from Chad (this is what was read at funeral) As we lay our sweet Connor Luke to rest today, I want to thank everyone for your love and support throughout the past 18 months. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff at Scottish Rite, Egleston, Davita and Emory who took such good care of us and did everything possible to heal our son. We prayed for our miracle daily. The truth is, we already had our miracle. Connor Luke was the miracle! He touched so many lives and impacted all who knew him personally or those who simply followed his journey.
It’s hard to explain how we feel. I think most would expect pure devastation. While we are devastated and heartbroken, Connor Luke isn’t! He’s healed, running wild through the streets of gold in his new, perfect body making everyone laugh as I write this. That’s who he is, not the child ravaged by cancer and end stage renal disease, but funny, energetic, not afraid to speak his mind. A child who loved to run and play in the dirt and mud anywhere, but especially “daddy’s field.” He loved to ride on the gator, tractor or 4 wheeler. He loved to wrestle with his brother, be thrown high in the air at the pool with his dad, then do crafts with his mom at the kitchen table. He loved his family, his brother, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are like family, all of you. He loved “his” church. He made it known every time we passed it, “that’s our church.” He LOVED BIG!

Events

The Connor Luke Hayes Memorial 5K race will be hosted annually. Here is the registration website for the race

Host a Fundraiser

Our hope is individuals, and organizations with a passion for our mission will host fundraising events to benefit the CLStrong Foundation. Third-party fundraisers are a great way to raise funds and awareness of our mission.

History/Journey

Letter from Chad (this is what was read at funeral)

As we lay our sweet Connor Luke to rest today, I want to thank everyone for your love and support throughout the past 18 months. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff at Scottish Rite, Egleston, Davita and Emory who took such good care of us and did everything possible to heal our son. We prayed for our miracle daily. The truth is, we already had our miracle. Connor Luke was the miracle! He touched so many lives and impacted all who knew him personally or those who simply followed his journey.

It’s hard to explain how we feel. I think most would expect pure devastation. While we are devastated and heartbroken, Connor Luke isn’t! He’s healed, running wild through the streets of gold in his new, perfect body making everyone laugh as I write this. That’s who he is, not the child ravaged by cancer and end stage renal disease, but funny, energetic, not afraid to speak his mind. A child who loved to run and play in the dirt and mud anywhere, but especially “daddy’s field.” He loved to ride on the gator, tractor or 4 wheeler. He loved to wrestle with his brother, be thrown high in the air at the pool with his dad, then do crafts with his mom at the kitchen table. He loved his family, his brother, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are like family, all of you. He loved “his” church. He made it known every time we passed it, “that’s our church.” He LOVED BIG!

If you want to honor our boy, not just by showing up today, do a few things for him.

First, live each day like it’s your last. Enjoy your loved ones. Take trips and take advantage of any and every opportunity that comes along with no regrets. Second, don’t be angry or bitter when adversity comes your way, it will. Don’t sweat the small things, let it go. Be positive and love big the way he did and the way God expects us to. Third, do for others. Small things, big things, give money, a gift, a hug, a compliment, a piece of gum, anything to make someone else smile. Lastly, and most importantly, give your heart to the Lord. We saw God each day of our journey. When Connor opened his eyes and looked at Brandi and I for the last time I know in that moment he saw his earthly parents along with his Heavenly Father and he knew he was safe.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and savior, pray now, call someone, message me, go to church on Sunday, come to the altar at today’s service, you won’t step on our toes, but don’t waste another second not knowing where you will spend eternity.

6 years on earth wasn’t long enough for us to be with Connor, but eternity in Heaven will be.

I KNOW where my son is and I know when I take my last breath he and Jesus will be there with arms wide open to greet me.

One will say, “well done my child,” and the other, “well done my father!” With that, I say, “well done my Connor!” He did all God intended him to do here with us and while we will miss him each day, he is healed, happy and with Jesus and we will be together again soon enough! We love you always Connor Luke! CLStrong Forever!

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