Lukapalooza Costume Bash to Benefit AEA

The inaugural Lukapalooza Costume Bash to benefit the AE Alliance was a great success and is in the books! Luke Shriver, an AE survivor, and his family and friends had an amazing time while sharing awareness and raising funds for the AE Alliance. 

The spirit of community, courage, and the love of good music brought a crowd of students and parents together Saturday night at the Spinning Jenny Music Venue in Greer SC. Five bands played for the crowd in the historic music hall in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina.

Luke had the idea to raise funds for the AE Alliance–an organization that has provided support to his own doctors, many other patients, and his family over the past four years since his official AE diagnosis and treatment began at Duke Children’s in 2014. When Luke’s care team began his treatment, he was homebound and unable to attend school. His personality–previously outgoing, curious, and full of fun had become incredibly anxious, tortured, and full of fear –all (it is thought), after antibodies to mycoplasma pneumonia caused inflammation in his brain.

Now in high school and attending a special arts program, Luke used his love of music and people to get a group together to enjoy a night of Halloween fun for a good cause. Four bands (including his own) agreed to donate their time. A crowd of family and friends joined him in hosting this event to raise funds for further research and family and patient advocacy. Not much is scarier than Autoimmune Encephalitis, but with community and courage, all is possible. 

Inside out and Backwards, Fine-Rock, The Rainstompers, Socks and Crocks, and Finding Freedom rocked out the crowd from 6:30 to 11:30.  Ticket sales, silent auction items, pizza sales, and personal donations were given to benefit the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance.

“Well, I know what’s right, I’ve got just one life..in a world that keeps on pushing me around…gonna stand my ground..and I won’t back down….” lyrics from the late great Tom Petty took on a special meaning as Luke sang them into a quiet music hall filled with friends. Some of them had seen him struggle with his illness and others had not, but all walked away with new knowledge of autoimmune brain inflammation symptoms that could possibly help someone they know and love one day.  

 IMG_5098.MOV – Luke Sings Johnny Cash

Many thanks to Luke Shriver, the members of all 4 bands, the Spinning Jenny Music Venue and all who attended for supporting AEA!

Post by Jennifer Shriver