It’s a story by ESPN about a young kid from Delaware, his passion for football, his love of the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz, his battle with cancer, and what his bond with a certain quarterback meant to both of them.
Lukas was known as “The Dutch Destroyer” because of his wildly impressive performance on the football field. He was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2016 at 8 years old and went on the fight of his life against it.
During his fight with cancer, the quarterback of the Eagles, Carson Wentz learned about Lukas’ illness. Wentz and his teammates decided to create a video to send it to Lukas in the hospital, wishing him well.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation got involved and asked Lukas if there was anything he most wanted to do, and the youngster’s response was that he simply wanted to thank Carson. Lukas got the opportunity to spend the day at the Eagles’ facility with Carson and he got to do just that, giving Wentz one of his Dutch Destroyer bracelets in the process. Lukas lost his battle with cancer and was buried in his Wentz jersey. During a day spent together at the Eagles facility, Lukas gave Wentz a "Dutch Destroyer" wristband as a token of appreciation. So moved by his time with the boy, Wentz has not taken the bracelet off, even wearing it on game days.
Lukas' story spurred Max's family into action. The Dutch Destroyer piece aired Oct. 23, before the Eagles' Monday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins. On Oct. 30, Max was diagnosed with leukemia.
“A couple months ago, he was bald, no eyebrows, nothing. That was the hardest part for me.And when we would go out in public, a couple kids had pointed out he had no hair and stuff. Things like that break your heart as a parent. No one wants their kid to be the oddball."said by Max’mom.
During this time, Wentz sent Max a signed ball, as he had for Lukas before him. It read: "Max, Best wishes. Keep the faith and God bless!" After 30 days, the Shotts received amazing news: Max was in remission. Because of the early detection, he had lost significantly less bone marrow than in many cases.
Max is not out of the woods yet. He is still gets chemotherapy through a port in his rib cage and in pill form, and will continue the treatment through January 2021. But the odds for full recovery are in his favor. Some semblance of normalcy is setting back in. Max was just cleared to go back to pre-K and is loving school.
“It was cool. Seeing Max on the field was the best part, especially hearing how they said how sick he was and how he was struggling," Wentz said. "I’m looking at this kid just running around, it’s 100 degrees out and he’s having the time of his life, doesn’t want to go in, doesn’t want to stop playing catch or kicking the ball, just to know how quick of a turnaround he made and how it really impacted him because they saw the story.