Luke Akerstrom Scores a Touchdown, thanks to Jacksonville Jaguars Brad Meester

Luke and his brother celebrate his touchdown

Luke Akerstrom and his brother, Abram (right), celebrate one of his many touchdowns during the game.

This past Saturday, February 11th, was Luke Akerstrom day, as proclaimed by Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.  If you were present at Trinity Baptist Church around 4pm, you were treated to a really touching moment involving a special little boy named Luke and a soft-hearted Jacksonville Jaguar named Brad Meester.

Late in 2010, Luke suffered a brain seizure, and it had a great affect on his ability to do many things, including simply walk.  During his time in the hospital, he found a new friend in current Jacksonville Jaguars center Brad Meester.  Brad and his wife would make weekly visits to see Luke and during that time Brad and Luke became friends, so much in fact, that Brad invited Luke out to the Jaguars training camp as a special guest.  Luke told his mom that he was going to walk to Brad when he visited training camp, and his mom spoke with his doctors about the situation and they told her to prepare for a let down.  Only there was no let down.  Luke’s mom set him down on the ground, Brad Meester took a knee a 5 or 6 feet away, and Luke took his first steps into the arms of the big Jaguars’ center.  It was a feel good moment, but it was only shared live by Luke’s family and the Jaguars.

On Saturday, however, anyone who wanted to come got to be a part of Luke’s goal: to score a touchdown.  Over 1,000 people showed up to Trinity Baptist Church to watch Luke’s feat and they weren’t disappointed.  Luke and his brother scored bunches of touchdowns as the Mayor, Brad Meester, and other Jaguar’s player stood by and offered support.

Jacksonville Jaguars Brad Meester and Luke Akerstrom

Luke Akerstrom and Jaguars' center Brad Meester discuss the game

Being a photographer, I couldn’t resist documenting the event through photos, of course, so I’ve set up a gallery of a handful of photos here in this gallery. Be sure to check them out and if you see Brad Meester, or any of the other Jaguars around town, give them a heart-felt thanks for making such a huge difference in this kid’s life.


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