A high school athlete who made headlines earlier this year for taking his date to prom despite receiving a cancer diagnosis the day of, died Saturday night.
Chase McDaniel, a student at Carrollton High School in Carroll County, Georgia, was 17 years old.
On April 20, Chase received devastating news, but he didn’t let it stop him from living his life as a teen. Doctors informed him he had stage 3 lymphoma cancer. In May his cancer was upgraded to stage 4.
“He was just determined. The prom thing? It was not a question. He asked it right away, ‘Can I go?’” his mother, Kiki McDaniel, told WSB-TV in May.
Chase, then 16 years old, didn’t want to disappoint his date, Jaida, who had been looking forward to prom for weeks.
“She was so excited about it,” Chase said. “(She was) talking about it, everything we were gonna do, places we were gonna go and pictures we were gonna take.”
Following his diagnosis, he underwent chemotherapy. During his treatment, not only did his family and community show their support–his football team voted him captain of the team–but professional athletes reached out to show they cared.
On September 17, Chase got to meet Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback at a special dinner. That evening, the 17-year-old began to feel ill. That night he was admitted to the ICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where he stayed for more than a month.
However, on November 16 Chase’s family confirmed that the teen had passed away.
“Our hearts are broken and the pain is unimaginable,” his mother wrote on Facebook. “We love him and miss him so much. We are comforted by knowing that Chase heard Jesus say ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’ Please don’t stop praying for us.”
“Your joy shined bright even while you faced enormous battles, giants, and mountains. We will forever tell of how you chased the victory.”
My heart breaks for the McDaniels. Share this on Facebook to honor their request and pray for them during this incredibly difficult time.