Meet Our Scholars
meet trey

years awarded



Scholar Quote: I know from experience my goals and dreams can change based on life's surprises. As long as I put in the work, have patience, and make decisions based on what is best for me, I'll be ready for whatever my future holds.

Within the first days of summer vacation after 6th grade, I was diagnosed with Pre-8 Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The excitement of earning a spot in Symphonic Winds, the top band, as a trumpet player disappeared instantly as well as summer plans of club soccer and hanging out with my friends.

Although my parents were divorced, which was difficult in its own way, life was really good. School came easily to me, and I earned mostly A’s and a few B’s. I was very athletic; whether playing flag football or club soccer, I enjoyed hearing parents on the sidelines commenting on my speed and skill. I had lots of friends, too, and got along well with everyone.

Cancer turned all of that upside-down. For seventh grade I was on homebound instruction. Teachers came to my house and helped me learn enough to pass my classes. For eighth and ninth grades, I attended school but was absent a lot for treatment or when my counts were too low. Even though I now had a 504 plan, the thought of make-up work brought on anxiety that made me want to stay home in bed. My body, once so quick and agile, went from skeletal and weak to pudgy and out of shape depending on the stage of treatment. And I was bald. Seventh grade bald cancer kids are NOT cute, no matter what St. Jude commercials make people think. I hated how strangers would sneak peeks at me and then look away. Forget trumpet and soccer; they were just reminders of what my life used to be. I kept in touch with a couple friends, but for the most part, everyone moved on without me.

Once I finished treatment in tenth grade, I no longer took academics, athleticism, and friendships for granted. I also didn’t want pity or things given to me just because I had cancer, and I didn’t want to be the poster child for September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which seemed to be an expectation. I joined the cross country team, and my coach and my teachers understood I wanted to be treated like everyone else. I worked hard in my upper-level classes to earn A’s and B’s, sometimes with the help of tutors. I attended every cross-country practice, even in the searing Texas summer heat, and gave every workout 100% even though I was the slowest team member. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones through cross country and school clubs. Even though I don’t like public speaking, I help raise money each fall for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in hopes other kids won’t have to go through what I did, and I mentor two elementary boys who need someone to look up to.

I’ll be a college sophomore when I’m officially a survivor, but as I prepare to graduate high school, the cancer journey has shaped my perspective on life. If I put in the work, consistently and patiently, I can accomplish my goals. I will be graduating with honors, I regained my physical and mental health, I enjoy being around friends and family, and I serve others in a way that is comfortable for me. While other students may have goals of solving world problems like climate change or curing cancer, I truthfully don’t know exactly what I want to do – although I think it will be in business or engineering. I know from experience my goals and dreams can change based on life’s surprises. As long as I put in the work, have patience, and make decisions based on what is best for me, I’ll be ready for whatever my future holds.