About seven years after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, former Indiana club swimmer Chase Smith has died.
In 2014, when Smith was first diagnosed, swimmers across the country rallied in support of him with the #ChaseStrong hashtag on social media. Smith’s first bout with cancer kept him out of the pool for a year or so, before he was able to compete again in the spring of 2015. The IndyStar reports that Smith had another round with Ewing’s Sarcoma in 2016, and then another bout in 2019.
The cancer ultimately returned, and in 2020, doctors gave Smith three to five months to live, with or without treatment.
Smith died April 4 at his home with his family. He was 19, making it almost a year since doctors said he had just a few months left to live.
Smith and his girlfriend Sadie Smith decided to get married last April and had plans to attend IUPUI together; she’s a diver and is currently on IUPUI’s roster, having competed for them this season. While she was studying and diving with IUPUI, Chase Smith was coaching at Indian Creek Aquatic Club with his dad and sister during this past winter. You can read more about the Smiths’ love story and wedding on the Indy Star site here.
“I am so passionate about swimming, my mind goes 100% to it,” Chase Smith had said to IndyStar in January. “My mind doesn’t allow me to think about anything else other than the kid I’m coaching or the workout I’m writing or the relationship I’m building with someone while I’m here. It definitely is an escape from everything.”