Rene’ Herlong, or “Dr. Rene” to the kids, was one of Camp LUCKs founders. As a pediatric cardiologist on the front lines of treating children with heart disease, he realized that he wanted to do more than just treat them medically – he wanted them to have life-changing experiences outside of the hospitals where they spent so much time.
We were heartbroken to lose our beloved Dr. Rene’ in 2020, but his vision for Camp LUCK is still very much alive. His legacy has carried forward in the Carolinas and his heart is still here in many ways.
He was born in Rock Hill, SC, and graduated from Northwestern High School. He completed his undergraduate degree at Davidson College and attended Duke University School of Medicine where he also completed his Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology. We were blessed that he chose Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center as his professional home. He affected so many lives as the Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Levine Children’s and Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute.
Not only did Dr. Rene’ serve as our Vice President, he was our song leader at camp. He had a beautiful singing voice and you could hear him every summer singing his favorite tune, “the Camp LUCK song”, at Pow Wow. He told us that if he were a superhero, flying would be his superpower. This makes perfect sense because Camp LUCK allows kids to reach new heights. One of his favorite parts of Camp LUCK was eating ice cream and listening to the kids talk about life.
We are grateful for Dr. Rene’s vision and his immeasurable contributions and selfless support of Camp LUCK. We miss him terribly and hope that he received his superpower and is flying high with the angels.