14-year-old high school student dies suddenly from mystery illness

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PHOENIX, Ariz. — Chase White was a freshman at Desert Vista High School in Ahwahtukee, Arizona.

He was involved in football, student council and was a camp counselor. He died suddenly on Friday after battling flu-like symptoms since January.

“From the age of 8 years old, he planned his whole career out, what college he wanted to go to, where he wanted to live,” said Antone White, Chase White’s father.

KPHO reports that Chase White’s parents said he started feeling nauseous and fatigued about three months ago. He missed nearly two weeks of school in the first academic quarter. Doctors tested his blood and urine, but nobody knew what was going on.

“He had flu-like symptoms. nausea, lethargic, no energy, occasionally he’d be throwing up, occasionally he’d have a fever,” Chase White’s mother, Carolynn White, said.

Then, last week, it got worse.

Chase White’s parents said they went to check on him Friday morning and found him unresponsive. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced brain-dead. Now, his family is planning his memorial service, still without answers as to what happened to their son.

“We’ve seen doctors, taken blood tests; we’ve seen several doctors over and over and they could not find anything,” Antone White said.

Antone White said they should get autopsy results back within two weeks to two months. They said they are touched at the outpouring of support.

“That’s what’s getting us through this, it’s just a blessing to see how Chase affected so many different people’s lives,” Antone White said.

In the meantime, the family has started a GoFundMe page to encourage other teens to volunteer.

“As a grieving mother, I want my son remembered as the loving, caring, generous young man he was,” Carolynn DeJohnette-White wrote on the page. “My son loved to volunteer and ‘give back.’ A lot of people don’t realize that in volunteering and ‘giving back,’ often time (sic) it takes money. I’d like to make funds available for those students that would like to volunteer for school programs but that may not be able to simply due to finances. I’m starting a foundation in honor of my son and his tireless campaign of helping others.”

The fund was nearly halfway to its $5,000 goal in just 16 hours.

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