Laufenberg, who turned 21 in May, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in December 2017, just weeks after a season with Mesa Community College where he played tight end. Laufenberg played football at Argyle Liberty. He spent the 2016 season as a redshirt tight end at Texas A&M.
He is survived by his father, mother Joan Laufenberg and brother Joe.
“Luke was an amazing young man. 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,” Babe Laufenberg said. “What he’s gone through over the last couple of years, the spirit that he had every day, to battle through it, to always be thoughtful about the people in his life, ‘How’s my mom doing? How’s my dad doing? How’s my brother doing?’ Amazing.
“You’d walk into the room and he’d just light up. Whatever was going on, he just had this way, this strength unlike I’ve ever seen. It’s such a tragedy. It’s so hard to understand. But I know I will and everybody who ever knew him will be forever inspired by the life that he lived.”
Laufenberg was declared cancer free on May 3, 2018. In January, UTEP head coach Dana Dimel offered a full scholarship and Laufenberg was expected to start at tight end for the Miners this fall.
But the cancer returned in April. On July 12, he was informed that his condition was terminal and that he had just a few weeks remaining.
“He handled the news with a strength of character and sweet demeanor that will always inspire his family, friends, coaches, doctors and and the treatment staff Children’s Medical Center Dallas,” the family said in a statement.
Said Dimel, “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. As long as I am coaching, I will relay all the lessons that Luke taught me to the individual lives I will affect. He is forever a MINER!”