TEAM LUKE: Even Stronger After Death

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 1:05 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2022 at 3:59 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It was July 28th, 2021, when the community came together to mourn the death of Luke Siegel.

He was paralyzed after a golf cart accident at the age of 9, but he lived 6 years longer than anyone predicted…except his dad. Tim Siegel was a coach who left his tennis team to create Team Luke.

Now, 7 months later, we found him back on the tennis court, where Team Luke is stronger than ever.

During a team practice at the Falls, we could hear Tim telling the Texas Tech tennis team, “I want to emphasize 3 things to you…”

Three words Coach Siegal has shared countless times since his son’s death: “Fight like Luke.”

Before that, he was at Trust Point Rehab comforting parents.

He told us, “All six are dealing with children with a brain injury. And so when I do that, it reinforces my belief that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” Tim couldn’t go into Luke’s room for months after Luke died. But this is where he invited us to explain where life has taken him. “I’m still coaching,” he says. “I don’t coach at Texas Tech anymore, but I coach, Team Luke.”

Team Luke wristbands took off in Lubbock and the sports world with NFL players like Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes showing their support for Luke. But the effort exploded when Tim met a woman in Austin with a non-profit called Hope 4 Minds. He suggested the two non-profits merge so they could do more for families suffering a brain injury.

With that, Team Luke Hope 4 Minds was born in 2018.

Tim says, “Now we have a staff of maybe eight people and a board of 15. And I mean, last year alone, we approved over half a million dollars to families all over the country. We see golf cart accidents, ATV accidents, we see car accidents, accidents at home. The biggest one we see is non-fatal drownings. It’s just so gut-wrenching.”

In each case, if the family submits an application, Team Luke Hope 4 Minds is there to offer support.

Tim says, “We help financially, immediately, we’re able to support the family and give them up to $5,000.”

As the foundation has become more respected, Tim says they are now getting referrals from the National Brain Injury Association. They hope to raise a million dollars this year to help all those families in need.

For now, this is why the month of March is so important.

Tim says, “Luke’s favorite number was 3. Ironically, March is Brain Awareness Month, the third month.”

The 333 campaign is now underway, an effort to encourage people to make a donation of 3 dollars or 33 dollars or any sequence of threes to help kids with brain injuries.

It’s as easy as focusing your smartphone on the QR code on this page which will take you to the donation site.

If you prefer, you can text or call in for a donation. All that information is also on this page.

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