Last week Asheville Sun Soo participated in a fundraiser for Luca Mele, a 12 year old blue-red belt, who recently underwent emergency brain surgery to remove a potentially lethal tumor. The surgery went well, but due to the position of the tumor, Luca had to have his pituitary gland removed. This important gland controls growth, blood pressure, hormone regulation, temperature regulation and water balance in the body. The complete long term effects of this surgery are unknown, but it is clear that Luca faces a long recovery and a lifetime of medical support.
Several community members organized a raffle fundraiser to raise money for Luca's family, who are now facing astronomical medical expenses. Asheville Sun Soo donated two separate year long free memberships as raffle prizes.
The fundraiser raised over $14,000, exceeding the initial goal of $10,000. Asheville Sun Soo students and families alone contributed $4,450 through the raffle, making a huge difference in the total amount raised.
Asheville Sun Soo is proud to have made a difference for Luca, and the staff and students look forward to seeing him back on the mat as soon as possible!
Luca is pictured below wearing a uniform sent to him after his surgery, signed by all the Sun Soo students.