The Lucas Project was a dream that began with Lucas who was miraculously born to Jess Ronne after he suffered a stroke in utero.  After surviving brain surgery at 3 days old, he has continued to thrive and grow, although his life with profound special needs has been challenging at times.

Jess’s desire was to start a non-profit in Lucas’s honor, but she lacked direction and focus for what this would involve or how it would look. In 2013 her family moved to rural Tennessee to pursue a dream of a simple life, and while Lucas thrived in many aspects, she and her husband Ryan noticed a lack of resources and accessibility in other areas – particularly in the area of respite opportunities for caregivers. The Lucas Project was born out of a desire to bridge this gap by offering awareness to the general public in regard to the difficulties and challenges that caregivers face and grants to communities interested in providing a break through a respite program. For more on Luke’s story and family visit



  1. We see caregivers and their daily struggles.
  2. We showcase caregiver stories through various media platforms and speaking engagements in order to bring awareness.
  3. We provide spa baskets for special needs mamas to show them that we see them and the daily caregiving that they provide.


  1. The Lucas Project has partnered with local filmmakers to create a documentary highlighting the challenges that caregivers face.
  2. The Lucas Project website offers essays that provide encouragement for caregivers.
  3. Future plans include a podcast. Stay tuned.


  1. The Lucas Project provides $1000 start-up grants for communities interested in providing respite opportunities.  The application process is here.