Age: 12 years
Wish: Publish his comic book
When it comes to superheroes, most of us think of Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman. But thanks to the creative genius of one young man, a population of sick children may also be thinking of Dr. Shrink, Supershot and Evil Virus- the primary characters in a comic book created by 12- year- old Dickson resident Luke Robinson.
Born with a heart defect that required open-heart surgery when he was just 5 days old, Luke has spent his share of time in hospitals. Later diagnosed with leukemia at age 3, Luke had to undergo three years of chemotherapy. At first, the painful medical procedures he had to endure led Luke to fear the medical professionals who were trying to help him. As time passed, he realized they were only trying to help.
While receiving cancer treatments at St.Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Luke passed the time by drawing. Eventually those drawings became characters in a story line of Luke's own invention.
"My pictures weren't very good, but I liked using my imagination," says Luke. "I like making up my own characters and stories."
Luke then sought to bring his characters to life for other kids. Armed with paper, pens, staples, scissors and other basic office supplies, Luke set out to put together his own comic book featuring his cast of superheroes.
"I would draw my comics and give them to the kids at St. Jude. My dad or mom would pull me around in a wagon, and I would hand them to kids at the hospital," says Luke.
Not content with this crude attempt at breathing life into his characters, Luke made a wish. In April 2009 that wish came true when Make-A-Wish partnered with Marvel Comics to help Luke publish his comic book. The process started with creative meetings held over the phone and a series of exchanges between Luke and the Marvel team.
"They took my original drawings to develop the heroes and the villain," says Luke "Marvel would send me the art and story to approve as they worked on the comic, to make sure I liked what they were doing."
Finally, Luke traveled with his family to Marvel headquarters in New York to meet with an artist and writer to go over final drawings and put the finishing touches on the story. Franklin Graphics donated the printing for 10,000 copies of the comic book; those copies have been distributed primarily at Vanderbilt Medical Center and St. Jude.
Luke is now nurturing his artistic talent by taking art classes at school. "He wants to focus on his art as a career," says Richard Robinson, Luke's father.
Considering the "super" effort Luke puts into whatever he does, we have no doubt that he'll succeed.