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Luke's Story

A true engineer at heart, Luke Grube had always been fascinated with the way things worked. When he was in college, he worked for a company fixing luxury watches. He had a gift for restoring time, and the precious gift of time is what he gave eight others through his choice to become an organ donor.

It was finals week when Luke had his accident. He had one year to go at Wright State University before earning his mechanical engineering degree at just 19 years old. To say he was smart was an understatement.

He was extremely caring, too. Luke’s mom, Nikki, remembers her son volunteering at the nursing home where she works as the director. A few patients with dementia had reverted to speaking German. Luke was fluent in the language and had recently returned from studying abroad, so he would stop by to chat with the patients. “He brought out stories that some of the families had never even heard before,” says Nikki. “That’s just the kind of kid he was.”

After Luke’s accident, he was three long days in the ICU before being declared brain dead. During this time, Nikki and her husband discussed what they might have to do. Luke was a registered organ donor, and he had shared his wishes with his parents. They knew he’d want to save lives and prepared to fulfill his request.

To honor his decision, Life Connection of Ohio arranged a special hero’s walk for Luke. Family, friends and medical staff throughout the Kettering Health Network filled two floors to pay tribute to Luke as he was taken to surgery.

“My son gave everything that he could, so that life could continue on,” says Nikki. Thanks to Luke’s organ donations, eight lives were forever changed.

It brings his parents great comfort to think about the lives their son helped save. Among them was the 30-year old father of three small children. Luke’s heart went to him. “His kids will be able to grow up and have their father because of my son,” says Nikki. “We feel he left an incredible legacy behind.”