We first met Mia in 2013, at the Justin Bieber reveal at the Colts complex. We’d partnered with Matt Overton of the Colts and had rented a suite at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for 10-12 kids and a chaperone to get away from reality for just one night to let loose, eat and drink as much as they wanted and simply have a great time. A patient at Riley Hospital for Children, Mia had been selected to be part of this special night. Not just for the kids, but for Colby & Cate’s Charities, as this was the first “Experience” we had set out to host.
A routine “tour” of the Colts complex was arranged. At the end, with all kids, their parents and even Blue, the Colts mascot in the room, it was announced they were going to see Justin Bieber. You can imagine the excitement.
In the Fall/Winter 2012 Mia underwent full brain and spine radiation for a tumor that had grown and spread. She was having issues after radiation and spent a few weeks trying to gain weight receiving a gtube. During her stay at Riley she was chosen as one of the lucky girls to attend Justin’s believe concert. She was so excited for the big evening she was enjoying a weekend at her dads when she began demonstrating signs something was wrong.
MIa was rushed to Riley and then immediately into brain surgery. Mia had a hemorrhagic stroke at the bottom of her brain stem. Mia couldn’t attend the concert sending her sister in her place, asking her to take lots of photos and have fun. (photo on left was prior to concert).
The evening of the concert Mia took a turn for the worst and her sister was summoned back early. Mia spent 12 days in ICU beating the odds and proving people wrong. She spent another 3 weeks at Riley Rehabbing.
Livvy and her family were joined that night by Matt Overton who has been a close family friend ever since – even after continuing his pro football career in Jacksonville.
Matt spent many a day and night with Mia and
her family and celebrated many milestones at and
outside of the hospital with them
(left, release day, summer 2013)
After Mia’s rehab and her health improved we made it a point to invite
Mia back to another concert. We had partnered with Matt O again.
This time it was……Taylor Swift (photo on right)
In july 2017, Colby & Cate’s Charities had planned their first out of
town Experience – the St Louis Expedition – a 3 day/2 night trip
to St Louis with 8 families.
We strive to include new patients for each intimate experience.
As fate would have it, at the last minute a family backed out.
With hotel rooms, concert tickets, ballgame tickets
and more secured, we contacted Mia and her mom to
see if they were available on a day or two’s notice.
That fate we mentioned?
We had no idea when we invited her to fill in for another family,
that Mia would be celebrating her 4 year anniversary
of surviving that horrific weekend with Colby & Cate’s Charities
– whom she was supposed to be with 4 years earlier.
It was truly magical!
Both Mia and her mom Keri made lots of new
friends over those 3 days.
Life is quite different today for Mia and her family and friends than they planned just 5 years ago in 2012.
She will require care for the rest of her life. However, Mia remains the same happy, loving, beautiful soul who loves music, art and people. Mia is a HUGE Colts fan. In fact, she’s a member of the Colts Junior Cheerleaders and is loved by everyone who meets her. We are blessed to be among those she and her mom Keri call friends.
“This charity provides more then just an evening out or a weekend away, they provide memories!! They provide adventures that most who have a chronically sick child can’t. They provide laughter love and hope. Some of our families most cherished memories have come alongside the Lutz family & all the other awesome families who’ve we met. What the Lutz family gives to families like ours is priceless and we are so grateful to be part of their adventures for the future.” – Keri Benge, Mia’s mom