FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One Fort Wayne mother reacted to a short film made in honor of her late son Tuesday. Owen Scheele died from leukemia in 2022 at 17 years old.
“For Owen” is a short film documentary that pays tribute to Owen directed by Grant Giszewski, who is a Carroll High School alumnus.
Owen was a Carroll student and the starting quarterback for the varsity football team. He was diagnosed with leukemia in June 2022 and died shortly after.
Stephanie Scheele, Owen’s mother, sat down with WANE 15. She said the film has been in the works for a while now, as the family was interviewed last fall. When asked how she felt about the short film, she described it as bittersweet.
“You never want to have a movie of a tribute of your son,” Stephanie said. “But if his legacy is love and it’s shown through this and it changes other kids’ lives to live differently, it’s worth it.”
A special thing to note is that many of the clips included in the short film were not viewed by the family before the production.
“We created a Dropbox for the funeral, and then we granted Grant permission to access it,” Stephanie said, “We didn’t even know what was in there. I still to this day, it’s been too hard to go and dive through everything. Pictures, film video, and so it took our breath away as you can imagine when we saw the film.”
The short film includes clips from family members, friends and teammates. Stephanie said Owen’s former football players are still by her side and that she considers them to be family.
“Losing your son is one thing, but then watching 17 and 18 year old’s bury their best friend is really hard. And the fact that they went through that and then played a season 13-0 after they had to bury their teammate and best friend. I mean, these kiddos overcome so much,” Stephanie said.
Since Owen has passed, community members have rallied behind his family to show support in many ways, such as raising funds to benefit the Owen Scheele foundation and bringing awareness to leukemia by wearing orange t-shirts.
The short film is set to debut at Carroll High School Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. That showing sold out within a day, so organizers added on another showing for the same day at 9 p.m. Tickets are free but are limited.