Community Rallies Behind Teen Battling Cancer, Pneumonia

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

Drew Wall practices at the Ellis Golf Course driving range on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Wall plans on getting back into swimming after golf season. He also has a second prosthetic leg, which is specialized for running. This leg has a customized torquing mechanism at the ankle to allow Wall to fully twist while swinging his club. (David Scrivner/SourceMedia Group)


By Liz Blood

HIAWATHA, Iowa - As a teen boy fights for his life, a community rallies behind him and his family.

Kennedy High School student Drew Wall is battling a debilitating form of cancer. He's now at UIHC after complications from the flu and pneumonia.

A Saturday morning fundraiser aimed to raise money to help his family pay for mounting medical costs.

"Whatever we can to help contribute to the Wall Family and Drew is just icing on the cake,” said family friend Mike Murdock.

200 people crammed into the Hiawatha Community Center to do whatever they could all in support of Kennedy High School student Drew Wall.

"Life was going on real normal just like an average family would be,” said Drew’s father Doug Wall.

But in February of 2008, Drew complained about an ailing knee. Doctors found an abnormal growth on the top of his shin. Drew has osteosarcoma.

"He made the decision himself, we're going to have this leg amputated,” said Wall.

The cancer then spread to his lungs. Over the past few years, Drew’s undergone nine surgeries to remove the cancer lesions off his lungs.

Now Drew's battling pneumonia and the flu at UIHC. While he recovers, he's not forgotten.

"Anybody who knows the Wall Family knows how special they are, great family, great kid,” said Murdock.

Drew proudly displays a bionic leg in a picture alongside his Golf teammates at Kennedy.

"A pretty close knit group of kids that play on the golf team. And Drew is a great inspiration for him,” said Murdock.

In just a few days, those who love Drew and the entire Wall family put together a fundraiser to help the family manage their medical costs.

Wall says his family chooses to stay optimistic. "We've been able to move things around and adapt and I've just been so thankful that his spirit has been so strong and he just deals with it,” said Wall.

"Just Drew It" is the mantra displayed on their t-shirts which promotes a life lesson: remain positive, believe, and never give up.

You can learn more about Drew and how to donate to his family by clicking here.

December 14th is "Just Drew It" day at Kennedy High School's basketball doubleheader. You can purchase a purple shirt for Drew and donate to the family at the game.

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