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Carnival to help raise funds for dad waiting for transplant

By Sharon Linschoten

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, July 14 2011 10:40 p.m. MDT

Kory and Amanda Luker are the parents of five children. The family's former community in Magna and their current community in Bluffdale are rallying to raise funds for a kidney transplant for Kory Luker by putting on a carnival in Bluffdale, July 15.

Luker family

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BLUFFDALE — Kory Luker is a stay-at-home dad with a pager that will summon him to the hospital at any moment to receive a donor kidney that will give him a second chance at life.

But that second chance doesn't come for free. Friends and local businesses have organized a fun-filled carnival to help raise the necessary funds to help defray the soaring medical costs, and for the anti-rejection medications Kory will need to take the rest of his life.

The carnival will be held July 15 at the Lion’s Club Park, 14400 So. Redwood Road in Blufdale, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Utah Jazz Bear will be attending from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to sign autographs, pose for pictures with fans and give away prizes. Families can enjoy carnival-like games galore, prizes, face painting and a dunking booth. Hot dogs, chips, snow cones and a baked goods sale will satisfy most hungry appetites.

Bill Luker and his wife have been instrumental in organizing the canival. “With the generous donations from local businesses, they will be able to hold a silent auction which the public can bid on," he said. "An account has been created at Zions Bank for anyone wishing to donate that is not able to attend the fundraiser.” Donations can be made at the Riverton branch at 3628 W. 13400 South.

Kory Luker had a kidney transplant several years ago, but his body rejected the organ. When he is not receiving dialysis, he is actively involved raising his young family of five children. Recently, he and his family were on a hike when they discovered a mother and her teenage daughter with a pet dog and a parrot in a cage. The dog had been bitten by a rattlesnake, and Kory carried the 80-pound dog back down the trail so the owner could get the animal to the vet in time to save its life. His children took turns to help carry the caged bird down for the teenager. Kory doesn’t consider himself a hero — just a dad, husband and son waiting for the miracle of a kidney transplant that will enable him to continue to value even the smallest joys in life.

Sharon Linschoten is a published author, freelance reporter and community leader who enjoys writing, substitute teaching in local area schools, watching my family grow and living on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley.

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