Marion Community Rallying Around Wilson Family
MARION – While the Marion football program awaits to see if it will see the field again for the 8-player state semifinals, the entire Marion community is rallying around the family of Marion youth football coach Chad Wilson.
During last Friday’s regional final win over Hale, Marion’s coaching staff all sported jerseys with the No. 42 and the name ‘Wilson’ on the back in show of support for Chad Wilson and his son, Ethan, who have been battling COVID-19 for the last three weeks.
The Wilsons immediately dropped off Ethan’s younger siblings, Eli and Ella, at Courtney’s parents’ house and drove Ethan to the University of Michigan’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Ethan was soon admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“Our little grandson, he’s not little, he’s 20, but he’s our special needs grandson. He’s our knight in shining armor right now,” said Chad Wilson’s mother-in-law, Diana Salisbury. “He’s beat this and he’s doing great. Was moved out of the PICU at U of M last night. So he and his momma are in a so-called regular room.”
Chad, a Marion alum and member of the school’s 1990 Class DD state championship winning football team, is still struggling, though. Both of his lungs collapsed and he went into cardiac arrest.
“Once you get that human viewpoint of it and it’s somebody you know and care about, boy, it really does just change your perspective on things,” Marion varsity football coach Chad Grundy said.
“(Eli) obviously wanted to know if his daddy was going to come home, both Eli and Ella did,” Salisbury said. “Then Eli comes up with the little things. Who’s going to take me hunting? Who’s going to start our bonfire for us? Just all the memories that he and his daddy have done.”
Wilson’s heart rate is stabilizing, and the Marion community is further showing its support for the Wilson family. Team Wilson wristbands are being sold at local stores and a GoFundMe page has already raised more than $12,000.
“Any small way we could show some support for him,” Grundy said. “Wearing his jersey, he loves Marion football. I thought it would be a great thing for us to do that night. It’s one of those things, it makes it real when you do know somebody.”
To purchase Team Wilson wristbands, visit one of the following stores:
Flemings Clothing, Marion
Marion Village Market, Marion
Horseshoe Bar, Marion
Christie’s Potting Shed, Marion
The Dream Diner, Mario
Rootz Hair Studio, Marion
TCF Bank Branch, Cadillac
Square Deal Country Store, Traverse City