A Promise to My Mom: Its Impact on your Business & Family Healthcare Costs, By Dr. Josh Luke

Many of you wrote & commented on my LinkedIn video with my mom from the hospital last week. Thank you. Here is the back story…

My mom is a fighter. Always has been.

A few years ago on Mother’s Day I penned a feature about my relationship with my mom that appeared in the Orange County Register newspaper local editions.

I wrote the story with her consent. Her consent based on a promise I made to her, my mom. The best friend a son could ever ask for.

I was born premature. My trachea and esophagus were not fully developed. I had a feeding tube inserted and had several bouts with pneumonia in my first few weeks of life. Each night doctors would tell my parents to go home for the night and pray that I would make it through the night. 

This is the promise I made to my mom. This is the goal I will remain focused on: Raising money for Alzheimer’s research & ensuring Americans have affordable access to healthcare services.

Each night, my mom stayed and fought. She fought in every way she knew how. She slept under my crib. She prayed. She nurtured. And she loved. This continued off-and-on for 12 months.

Mom set the tone. Even before I knew what setting the tone even meant.

My mom is the matriarch of our family and she fought for her causes. 

So at a young age I came to understand that whether on a hospital wristband or the back of a baseball jersey, if the last name was ‘Luke’ then prepare for a fight.

That’s just how we roll.

Then, in 2010 mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. We knew we had a new fight on our hands. We knew that mom’s gifts and lessons to us would now need to be put to action. And as her youngest son I wouldn’t have had it any other way. A few months after the diagnosis, I took my mom to lunch — just the two of us.

We laughed. We cried. We reflected. I held her hand. I asked how I could support her. And then I committed.

Mom acknowledged that she was aware of her diagnosis and that she had many moments of confusion and even more moments of anxiety and embarrassment.

She had lived an amazing life. She deserved so much better.

My way of fighting for and returning the favor by ‘sleeping under her crib’ is by bringing awareness to the causes that impacted her and led to her premature demise. I committed this to her. We discussed the fight that laid before her, and with my experience in healthcare that I could use the gifts she passed on to me to wage this war. 

This war on healthcare affordability and access. This war on Alzheimer’s Disease that is nowhere near a cure.

Soon after I founded a not-for-profit in honor of my mom, and was appointed to the Orange County Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association Advisory Board. I then penned a book helping families navigate through the aging process. Proceeds from the book are donated to support Alzheimer’s.

And, in January 2018 when my new book Health-Wealth is released I am hopeful it will bring attention to Alzheimer’s causes. I am a keynote presenter for a living. Even though I am best known for my humor and storytelling, it is the message of healthcare affordability and access that audiences seem to appreciate most. I was fortunate to have access to many well kept healthcare industry secrets in my ten years as a hospital CEO. Now I share these secrets with American businesses and individuals with the hope of making basic healthcare services accessible and affordable.

Thanks Mom. I’ll always love you and fight for the causes you fought for. And per your wish, I’ll use every gift and value you bestowed upon me to accomplish this.

We can’t let healthcare bankrupt the American dream, and its well on track to do that.

In 2017 Forbes Books recruited me to write a book teaching American businesses and family’s how to save thousands annually on healthcare. They were convicted in their belief that I was the ideal person to write this book based on my experience as a hospital CEO, author and faculty member at USC.

It was the confidence those Forbes Books executives showed in me that convinced me to invest in the project, and actually research and write a book on healthcare affordability – which I coined as Health-Wealth.

In January 2018, I will release Health-Wealth: Is healthcare bankrupting your business? 9 steps to financial recovery. This book teaches businesses how to drastically reduce spending on healthcare. In September 2018, I will follow that book up with a new book targeting individuals and families, teaching them how to reduce personal spending on healthcare – and still access the best doctors, hospitals and services. This books tentative title will be Health-Wealth: Is healthcare bankrupting your Family? 5 ways to save $5,000 annually.

 

And all proceeds from each will go to our not-for-profit that supports Alzheimer’s causes.

This is the promise I made to my mom. This is the goal I will remain focused on: Raising money for Alzheimer’s research and ensuring Americans have affordable access to healthcare services.

We have a long way to go on both.

So as hard as it is to share stories about my mom as her disease progresses to the final stages, I will keep fighting. I will stay true to my word. I will honor my mom by honoring her values.

Thanks Mom. I’ll always love you and fight for the causes you fought for. And per your wish, I’ll use every gift and value you bestowed upon me to accomplish this.

In honor of Vicki Ann Luke.

Here is the link to the video I posted on LinkedIn that went viral.