Davidson Day School community rallies around family of injured student with special soccer game

Updated: May. 23, 2019 at 12:10 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Dozens of people lined the soccer field at Davidson Day School Wednesday night for a special fundraiser. All money collected at an exhibition soccer game will be going towards medical expenses for an injured student-athlete.

Lance Fenderson, a junior at Davidson Day, was injured during a lacrosse game earlier this month. Fenderson’s soccer coach said the teen collided with another player during the game and suffered a severe spinal cord injury.

The boys and girls soccer teams at Davidson Day played a full scrimmage Wednesday night. Community members at the game spoke highly of Fenderson. Mat Saunders, a teacher at Davidson Day, described Fenderson as ‘fun-loving’ and ‘very driven’. Others spoke about the teen’s athletic ability and community engagement.

“He was previously a racecar driver and lacrosse player, great student, big part of the community,” said family friend Sue Ratcliff.

Because Davidson Day School isn’t that big, most students and families are familiar with one another. Many are aware of what Fenderson’s family is going through.

“It’s such a small community that it hurts like it is one of your kids,” said Saunders.

The community went all-out Wednesday to show their support for the injured student. #LANCESTRONG18 was posted on the fence along the soccer field. The slogan was also painted on the campus rock and inscribed on matching shirts being worn at the game.

After the match had ended, Fenderson’s 13-year-old brother addressed the crowd of community members.

“I just wanna thank everyone for all the prayers that are going out and I just wanted to say thank you for coming out,” said Luke Fenderson.

When asked how strong his brother is, Luke replied, “Stronger than anyone that I know. He’ll get through it easily. It’ll take a lot for him. It’s just a block in his life, but he’ll come back better.”

Ratcliff said more than $5 thousand were raised for Fenderson and his family Wednesday night.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help cover Fenderson’s medical expenses. A link to the page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/lance-fenderson

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