DALLAS, Texas (NEXSTAR) — Luke Laufenberg, son of Silver Star Nation reporter and Dallas Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg, died Thursday morning after battling a rare form of leukemia. He was 21.
Luke fought Burkitt’s Lymphoma for two years. He was initially diagnosed in 2017 after finishing up his first football season with Mesa Community College where he played tight end.
After a tough battle, doctors cleared Luke of cancer in May 2018 and he managed to return to the field. In January 2019, UTEP Head Football Coach Dana Dimel awarded Luke a scholarship. He was expected to start for the Miners this fall.
“Luke touched my heart and soul forever. His spirit and fight are a reminder to me of what it means to play and coach the game of football,” said Dimel. “As long as I am coaching, I will relay all the lessons that Luke taught me to the individual lives I will affect.”
Just three months later, the cancer would return — and he would be in for a much tougher fight.
One month ago, doctors informed Luke his condition was terminal. His family says Luke “handled the news with a strength of character and sweet demeanor that will always inspire his family, friends, coaches, doctors.”
Luke died in the early hours of August 22 with his family by his side.
“We lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a warrior. We have never seen a person battle like Luke, but he lost his fight with cancer,” said Babe Laufenberg shortly after his son’s passing. “He was truly inspirational. The hole in our hearts will never be filled. You are my hero. RIP my sweet Luke. See you on the other side.”Babe Laufenberg
During Thursday’s press conference, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett did not take questions. An emotional Garrett used his time to honor Luke.
“Luke was an amazing young man,” Garrett told the media. “You guys have heard me talk about fight a lot. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a better example of that in my life.”
Garrett went on to talk about Luke’s spirit and the life lessons Laufenberg has provided for those left behind.
“I know I will, and I know anyone who ever knew him, will be inspired by the life that he lived,” Garrett added while fighting back tears.