WINCHESTER — Seventeen-year-old David Alexander III was a standout lacrosse participant who most definitely would have shined on the collegiate stage.
But he died on Oct. 27, a couple of yr after being identified with a uncommon and incurable type of most cancers referred to as chondroblastic osteosarcoma that destroys bone and replaces it with cartilage.
His analysis on Oct. 2, 2020, and his subsequent battle with the illness grew to become well-known within the Winchester space after he determined in January 2021 to cease remedy. He made that selection after enduring chemotherapy for 10 weeks and discovering the method had been ineffective. If he needed to strive chemo once more, docs would have needed to take away his left leg and parts of his left hip and decrease backbone, a process that will have left him completely disabled and will have prompted paralysis.
“In my eyes, there really was not a lot of promise,” David instructed The Winchester Star in a May 2021 interview. “I’m happy with the decision I made.”
David, a junior at James Wood High School who performed on Handley High School‘s regional lacrosse membership, needed to cease enjoying lacrosse after being identified. But the teenager was such a precious member of the squad, his coaches made him an assistant coach and concerned him in practices and video games as a lot as potential for so long as potential.
Even as we speak, David continues to be very a lot part of Handley’s lacrosse membership. On a current Saturday, when the group celebrated Senior Day throughout the first of its two house video games this season, they included David within the celebration.
“Everybody on the team had Alexander written on the back of their jerseys,” stated Leigh Phillips, the spouse of Handley lacrosse coach Steven Phillips.
A Senior Day custom that was noticed throughout the sport featured the entire seniors on the group strolling onto the sphere with their dad and mom or guardians. Leigh Phillips stated David’s dad and mom, Bryan and Jacqueline Alexander, alongside together with his sister, Aubree Alexander, walked throughout the sphere holding David’s No. 11 jersey.
“David will live on forever in our hearts as we attempt to emulate the enthusiasm and passion that he showed each of us every day, not only on the field, but with anyone lucky enough to be in his presence,” an announcer stated over the loudspeakers. “He and his hugs will be forever missed.”
“And we retired his jersey number,” Phillips stated. “It was very special.”
In reminiscence of their former teammate and coach, the Handley lacrosse membership went on to beat the Muddogs of Harrisonburg 8-6 in a nonconference sport.
“This [David’s passing] has brought the team really close together,” Phillips stated. “Last year we had him on the sidelines as a coach and his presence was felt. His absence is felt even more. … We feel like a big family now.”
Also on Senior Day, the gamers and coaches posed for a group picture on the Handley Bowl. Two of the gamers held Alexander’s jersey entrance and heart.
“He was such a special kid,” Phillips stated. “He had a tremendous affect on us all, for sure.”