The Rare Illness Gary Busey's Son Luke Was Diagnosed With

Gary Busey was on cloud nine when he became a dad for the third time, but when Luke Busey was 11 months old, the actor discovered his son had a rare illness — Kawasaki disease.

In February 2010, "The Buddy Holly Story" actor and his girlfriend, Steffanie Sampson, welcomed Luke into their lives, per Parade. The 65-year-old and his 35-year-old partner shared their excitement about the latest addition to their family in a statement, saying, "This feels like a dream. We feel so blessed and are overwhelmed with happiness at Luke's arrival."

Luke's birth wasn't new to the actor — Gary had two older children, so he felt more than ready to welcome a third child. Speaking to the The Wall Street Journal, he said, "I'm in charted water now. I've been through this trail. I don't get like, oh, God, he's crying again. I knew that came with dinner and it was part of the drill." Luke was a bit different, though.

Hospitalization and diagnosis

In April 2011, just over a year after Luke Busey had been born, there were several reports that the young child was in the hospital, per Daily Mail. At the time, Gary Busey's publicist confirmed Luke was "receiving medical attention," however, the couple downplayed their son's medical issues to the media. Six years after Luke was born, the "Point Break" star opened up about the serious and rare health condition his son faced on an episode of "David Tutera's CELEBrations," per People. Specifically, Gary revealed that Luke was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the disease "causes swelling (inflammation) in children in the walls of small to medium-sized blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body."

When Gary discovered his son was in the hospital, he rushed home, abandoning the taping of "Celebrity Apprentice." He shared on "David Tutera's CELEBrations" (via People), "I flew in from the show and Jimmy Kimmel sent me a limo to get me from the airport and took me to Cedars-Sinai, where Steffanie, my wife, spent 13 days and nights in the hospital with little Luke." Luke suffered from various symptoms, including a fever, rash, and increasing heart rate. Fortunately, the young child recovered and is living a happy and healthy life.

Gary Busey and Steffani Sampson created a foundation in honor of Luke

By the looks of it, Luke Busey is doing well. Gary Busey shared a photograph of him with all his kids on his birthday, and Luke is all grown up and smiling bright. Despite his diagnosis of Kawasaki disease, there is some good that came from his health scare — after he recovered, his parents created a foundation in honor of him and his disease.

According to Look To The Stars, the Busey Foundation was created in 2012, two years after Luke was born. The organization's sole purpose was to raise funds to go toward research on Kawasaki disease and bring awareness to the rare condition. Gary Busey briefly spoke about the foundation on "David Tutera's CELEBrations" (via People), sharing, "We're looking out for every kid under 6 years old in the world. That's our purpose."

The foundation hasn't been as active in the past couple of years, but they have received some big donations in the past, including one from former President Donald Trump. In 2013, Trump tweeted, "I just sent @THEGaryBusey a check of $20,000 for his charity, Children's Kawasaki Disease. He worked hard and deserves it." It's unclear whether the foundation still stands today, but it was nice to see Gary use his experience and platform to bring awareness to Kawasaki disease.