Luther, local community rallying to support 14-year-old battling brain tumor

The Onalaska community is rallying to support one young man in the middle of a huge ordeal.

14-year-old David Chase is a freshman at Luther, a big football and basketball fan who played for Knights football this past fall, but he was suffering from some major memory loss, and doctors would later discover tennis ball-sized tumors on David’s brain.

David had successful surgery in Madison last week, where he’s still recovering his speech, and he will have another surgery sometime next week.

The school community has come out in full force to support David and his family. A GoFundMe page currently has over $25,000 raised, and the school set up donation efforts the past week at several Luther home games, which raised $5,000 more.

His football teammates and fellow Knights want to make sure David knows they all have his back.

“He’s kind of more than just another student in the student body,” senior Gavin Proudfoot said. “He was a lineman alongside me in football, and he was there everyday, he put his heart and soul into the game. He loves the game. My heart just yearns for him and his family. Being 14, 15 years old and having to go through that in the prime of your life is just something I can’t even imagine.”

“So many people know him,” Luther boys basketball coach Brad Schaper said. “So many people love him. He’s got a magnetic personality. It’s been fun watching the kids, the entire student body, come together, the entire communities we’ve been playing come together and offer their support financially and faith support to them, as well.”

The school is also developing a cooperative Cancer Awareness Night for David with help from Arcadia High School.

“So when we play Arcadia at Arcadia, that event and during that event, we’ll make the Luther and Arcadia community aware of David’s needs and how we can help and support this family,” Luther principal Phil Punzel explained.

The event will be Feb. 18, the night Luther boys basketball plays at Arcadia.