The Dutch Destroyer

Emily Fender, Staff

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Lukas Kusters always had a love for football. At the age of six, he joined a league. Quickly, his coaches and teammates recognized his passion for the game, even at such a young age. He earned the nickname, the Dutch Destroyer, and it stuck. Not only did Lukas love playing, but he loved watching, in particular, The Eagles.


When Lukas was eight, he began complaining about a pain in his stomach. The results were devastating, a tumor in his stomach. The doctors ordered a year of chemotherapy and radiation to Lukas’ cancer. Through Lukas’ treatment, he turned to the Eagles, particularly Carson Wentz, as a beacon of hope. Through his radiation and chemotherapy, Lukas and his family would talk about the game as a distraction. It was a coping mechanism for him. After all of his treatments, life was looking up, Lukas was cancer free.


Many months after, the cancer returned. This time, it was worse. The doctors said Lukas would likely not survive. Quickly, the Make-a-Wish Foundation stepped in and asked Lukas what he would like to do. He responded without hesitation, “I want to thank Wentz.”. And Lukas did. He met Wentz and other team mates and gave them a bracelet, reading “The Dutch Destroyer”.


Lukas died on June fourth, only four days after turning ten, only thirteen days after meeting Wentz. Lukas was buried wearing Wentz’s jersey. To Wentz, this proved that football is more than just a game, for some it is the only hope they have to turn to. Wentz wears the bracelet Lukas gave him everyday, and every game. Lukas may not be living his dream of being an NFL player, but he sure is close.