Taken Too Soon…
But His Spirit Lives On
“Words can’t describe how much you mean to me. I still can’t believe you’re gone. You were always so good to me. God knew what he was doing when he sent you to me. You were one of my very best friends. I’m going to miss laughing at your silly jokes and hearing you laugh at the horrible jokes I came up with. I know God wanted you home and you’re no longer in pain, but I still miss you. I can only imagine what you’re seeing up there. I’ll see you again and maybe you can teach me all the songs they sing in heaven. Rest easy Zachie, I love you very much."
Zach Hoefler, “Z,” grew up in Allen, Texas playing youth soccer, baseball, basketball and his first love, football. While Zach certainly loved playing sports, it was the camaraderie with his teammates along the way he enjoyed the most. Zach was a lovable, caring, compassionate, funny, optimistic and loyal friend. He was also a young man who loved family immensely.
Zach, by nature, was highly competitive in sports and in life. His competitive spirit, talent and knowledge of the game allowed him to become an excellent quarterback in the Allen system. Z was not just an athlete, he was a fan, especially of Boston sports. He enjoyed cheering for the Red Sox, the Celtics and his favorite, the New England Patriots. He had a diverse taste in music but enjoyed classic rock and country the most. Zach was a very faithful follower of Christ, a member of Suncreek United Methodist Church and an active participant in their youth program.
Just before Zach’s senior year at Allen High School, he began to experience severe headaches which was initially diagnosed as migraine headaches. As the headaches began to increase in frequency and severity, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. After a summer of surgeries and chemotherapy, doctors encouraged Zach to get back to school. Unfortunately, his diagnosis led him to stay on the football sidelines, cheering for his Allen Eagles. Following his graduation in May 2017, Zach completed Proton radiation therapy and was able to enroll in the University of Mississippi, “Ole Miss,” to begin his college career. He loved his college life, joining the brotherhood of Pi Kappa Alpha and making friends along the way. Before Zach could complete his first year at Ole Miss, he experienced seizures and returned to Dallas Children’s Medical Center for more tests and treatment. Zach’s tumor had started to change and become much more aggressive. The once seemingly manageable diagnosis of Pilocytic Astrocytoma took a terrible turn and while the cure rate of that type of tumor is 90%, Z did not fall into the favorable odds.
Over the course of two years, Zach endured 5 brain surgeries, 6 different chemotherapy drugs and 6 weeks of Proton radiation therapy. Even with horrific side effects, Z was confident the treatment would do its job and never complained. He just viewed treatment as something he needed to do and always just said “it is what it is.”
Zach’s compassion, competitive spirit, sense of humor, optimism and faith were palpable and infectious. Following his passing, we have received innumerable heartfelt texts, voicemails and calls about how much Zach impacted so many people’s lives. Z made people feel good about themselves and was deeply loved by many. Zach will be missed but we know he is wrapped in Gods arms and is no longer suffering from the disease he battled like a warrior for two years. Heaven got a good one! Z’s spirit and legacy will be forever #HoeflerStrong .
In our journey with Zach at Dallas Children’s Medical Center, we witnessed an incredible need to assist families whose children are diagnosed with serious pediatric illnesses. We want families to feel loved and supported during this difficult time. It is from that vision that the Zach Hoefler Memorial Trust was created.