CELEBRITY

Luke Toki’s emotional fatherhood journey has left him feeling “lucky”

Everything he does is for his "tribe".
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Luke Toki may be heading into the finale of Big Brother VIP, but the nation was first gripped by the mining technician in 2017 when he joined the cast of Australian Survivor.

Ending the season in seventh place, Luke was determined to take home the crown two years later when he reappeared on the show for the Champions v Contenders season.

WATCH: Survivor’s Luke Toki thanks fans for donating to GoFundMe

Throughout his fight for the $500,000 prize money, Luke reiterated that he entered the competition for his kids, Lennox, 10, Nate, 8, and Madeline, 2, whom he shares with his wife, Mary.

His two eldest boys, Lennox and Nate, grapple with autism, while his youngest daughter, Madeline, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after being born – just six weeks before Luke left for Survivor.

As hard as it was to leave his newborn, Luke credited his “amazing wife” for taking the “helm like a champion” while he competed in the show, according to news.com.au.

“If I win $500,000 it would be life-changing for my family. It’ll give my kids a future that I want to give them so that’s why I’m doing it,” Luke said during his time on the show.

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Luke shares three children – Lennox, Nate and Madeline – with his wife, Mary. (Credit: Instagram)

Survivor viewers quickly rallied around Luke through his reality show jaunt and were devastated when he was voted out in fourth place.

As a result, fans quickly cooked up a GoFundMe campaign in the hopes to raise the equivalent sum of the Survivor first prize to help Luke look after his three kids.

So determined fans were to lend a helping hand to the Perth-based star that the numbers kept climbing until eventually surpassing the $500,000 goal.

Overwhelmed by the response, Luke stopped the donations and said he and Mary would donate anything over the initial goal to charity, while also directing his fans to make pledges in his name to cystic fibrosis causes.

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Luke captured hearts during his Survivor journey. (Credit: Instagram)

“It’s amazing just being able to live without having to feel like you have to work 12 hours a day, every day, just to make ends meet,” the mining technician told WHO magazine, revealing he and Mary had been able to pay off their mortgage and were in a better position to support their kids.

“I’m where I am financially where I probably would have been now at 50 years old, so I’ve been given a massive head start and I want to make sure I make good decisions from here on out.”

Post Survivor, Luke’s relationship with his kids continues to pull at heartstrings, with the 35-year-old gushing about how they are mini versions of himself.

“I think what makes it easy is that their attitudes are kind of like mine,” he told news.com.au in 2019.

“They’re just carefree, they’re good kids. I actually feel like you can have a kid who isn’t autistic but has behavioural issues that would cause more drama than the kids that I have.”

The Survivor alum also said that “disability or no disability” he counts himself as “very lucky” to have the family he has.

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Luke’s kids spoiled their dad this Father’s Day. (Credit: Instagram)

Last year, Luke and Mary spoke to WHO about the status of his kids’ conditions, revealing that Madeline was “stable on all of her medication”.

“She’s just now walking, so she’s like this little human. We’ve been expecting the worst at times, but it’s been nothing but good,” Luke said at the time.

As for their eldest sons, Lennox, who has autism, and Nate, who has autistic traits, the parents emphasised that they were “very sociable” and attended weekly speech therapy sessions.

These days, Luke utilises his Instagram to share sweet insights into life with his family, whom he affectionately deems his “tribe”.

And his followers continue to rally around the fan-appointed King Of The Jungle. Perhaps he will claim victory this time around on Big Brother VIP.  

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