Community rallies around injured football player - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community rallies around injured football player

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ELGIN (KWWL) -

A 6th grader playing on a football team in West Union was rushed to the hospital after a football injury caused him to have a stroke earlier this week.

Chase Aeschliman remains hospitalized in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, but was moved out of the intensive care unit Thursday afternoon.

It's been a tough week for parents and students alike, but that hasn't stopped them from rushing to the family's aid.

Tammy Hackmann and Stephanie Hermen are spearheading fund-raising efforts to help the family.

They're hoping to raise at least $5,000 by selling #TeamChase shirts and bracelets. They've also set up a Facebook page under the same name, which already has more than 900 members.

"They're just a great family, couldn't ask for more, husband and wife, both well-known in the community," Hackmann said.

She also said the community has been right behind them in their efforts to help the family.

"Everybody wants to get t-shirts. The classmates' parents are, you know, everybody wants to help in any way they can," she said.

Hermen says it's not a surprise, given how tight-knit this community is.

"We're a pretty tight family. When anything like this happens, everybody rallies together," she said. "I feel like had it have been anybody else, it would've been the same way. We're just all really close."

It's also been a stark reminder of just how quickly things can change.

"It's a very scary situation, and I feel like it's put a lot of perspective for parents -- how things change so quickly and how it could've been any of us, and it could've been our child. So, yeah, I think that's the scariest part," Hermen said.

In a statement made to KWWL today, Chase's mother Laine said:

"We are so thankful for all of the prayers and support at this time while our son Chase continues to heal! Chase has a long way to go but he is a fighter as we all know! Thank you for thinking of our family and Chase during these hard times! Please remember continued prayers are appreciated! Love the Aeschlimans #teamchase."

Hackmann also says they got Chase to sit up in a chair Thursday afternoon, a great sign of progress.

In addition to the #TeamChase Facebook page, which can found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/128357287511746/, there has also been a YouCaring site set up, which has already raised more than $11,000 for the family.  You can find that page here: http://www.youcaring.com/chase-aeschliman-laine-aeschliman-kenny-aeschliman-419404.

They Fayette County Sheriff's Department is also holding a fundraiser Oct. 25.

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