QUESTION: What ever happened to Travis Fernandez?
Kauai lads wish will
help his school
ANSWER: LIHUE -- Travis Fernandez, 18, of Kalaheo, Kauai, was one of six students given a $1,000 scholarship last spring by the Star-Bulletin for overcoming seemingly overwhelming adversity to graduate from high school.
Fernandez was on the honor roll every semester since he entered Waimea High School and a member of the National Honor Society. He was elected to the Kauai District School Council for three consecutive years. And he lettered in football, basketball and track, playing linebacker on the varsity football team as a sophomore.
Halfway through his junior year, a cancerous tumor had formed in his chest. Doctors decided his only hope was a bone marrow transplant.
His youngest brother A.C., then 8, was the donor.
Fernandez missed almost his entire senior year, but with the help of tutors graduated on time. At the time of commencement last spring, Fernandez's cancer was in remission and the tumor had been reduced to a lump of scar tissue.
This fall, as Fernandez was planning to begin college, another tumor appeared, and he is again undergoing chemotherapy.
On Monday, Fernandez received a gift he requested last year from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that provides dream-of-a-lifetime experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses.
The gift Fernandez asked for isn't for himself. Instead, he asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation for money for track facilities for Kauai athletes.
Make-A-Wish Foundation, in partnership with General Motors and the United Auto Workers union, presented Kauai County with a $10,000 check to build a new high jump pit at the track facility at Vidinha Stadium.
The county ultimately plans to replace the existing track with a rubberized track.
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