Welcome to Lucastrong

Our son Gian-Luc, "Luca" as we call him, was a great boy. He was kindhearted, funny, spunky, and had a great love for life. His positive outlook on everything had a powerful impact on everyone around him.

He was an honor roll student, a fabulous athlete and most of all a wonderful son and brother in our family.

On August 13, 2011, our life changed forever when for no known reason, Luca went into his bedroom and played the choking game. He was found by his father and rushed to the hospital. After five days of intensive care, he lost his battle for life, and we lost our beautiful son.

The knowledge that we have gained since Gian-Luc died is shocking. This choking activity has apparently been played since we were teenagers ourselves and although we, as a family had never heard of it, many of our friends and our children's friends know about it.

I personally used to think that risky behavior was only common among children who are not raised in stable families, who make poor choices in their lives and have bad grades. I have since discovered that this particular activity is trending among a different group of children.

These children are like our son Luca. They are smart, reasonable, athletic, and well rounded socially with good grades. They are the students who don't want to smoke, drink alcohol, or steal prescription drugs from their parents. Many of these children are athletes who respect their body and would never take the risk of inhaling smoke or take pills to get a high. However, many children believe that the "Choking Game" is simply a cool new game that is fun, harmless and without risk. These children are wrong and we need to make sure to let them know.

Unfortunately, this activity is not taken seriously enough and we are trying to change this. With a partnership with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office D.A.R.E. program, we are offering presentations to raise awareness about this dangerous and deadly trend.

By visiting this website you will find various pages and links that will educate you. Please share this information and our website link with others (www.lucastrong.com). If you are interested in this topic and would like more information to be presented at your school, church, business or civic group, please contact us to schedule a free 90 minute presentation. Contact information can be found on the "Presentation" link above.

Our son Gian-Luc did not want to harm himself, and he did not want to harm anyone of us. He did not realize what could have happened when he tried this choking activity. His lack of knowledge and understanding of what was happening to his body is what killed him.

We think we can keep our children safe by not telling them about the dangers in this world. We don't want to give them ideas to try any of these risky behaviors. Unfortunately, statistics prove that 84% of all children currently know about the choking activity, however only 7% of parents are aware of it. Please make sure that before your children hear how fun and harmless this activity is from a school friend, a teammate, or the internet that YOU tell your children how deadly this behavior really is. They must hear this from you first and understand the consequences.

Our mission is to save lives, so no one has to experience the worst thing in the world....... the loss of their child.

Petra Verhoeven-Jordan  (Gian-Luc's Mom)