Remembering and Honoring
2023 Trevor Kling
Trevor was the type of kid that could light a room with his smile. No matter what happened in his father David’s day, as soon as he got home, Trevor would change everything. He would run up to him with that ear-to-ear smile and all the bad in his day would disappear.
Trevor and his sister Maddy were incredibly close, the love those two shared was incomparable. They always leaned on each other and helped each other through their good and bad.
When people think about Trevor, we hope they will smile as he did, and laugh in remembering him. Trevor had the funniest fashion sense you could imagine, you would never be able to predict what he would come out of his room wearing. He had an
exorbitant collection of ridiculous and weird socks and he absolutely loved wearing them.
Back in 2015, Trevor was a healthy 11-year-old boy. He was a competitive baseball player and a competitive bowler. During the summer, as he was playing catcher for his team, he started getting migraines and throwing up during his games. Initially, they said that he was dehydrated. We went to the ER and gave Trevor liquids, but even after hydrating, the same symptoms continued. The doctors then thought his symptoms could be from a concussion he got while he was playing baseball.
We kept him out of everything for the rest of the summer. His migraines stopped, but then one morning, as Trevor was eating his cereal, he looked over at his Mom and told her that he forgot how to chew and the cereal was just falling out of his mouth. She
immediately contacted his doctor and they told us to take Trevor straight to the ER for an MRI. Later in the afternoon, we learned that Trevor had a major tumor on the right side of his brain.
A week later, Trevor had a biopsy of his brain to determine what type of tumor he had. It turned out to be an Anaplastic Astrocytoma — a very common tumor in adults, but extremely rare in children. This came with the information that there was a 5-10% chance of survival.
Trevor went through an 8-hour brain surgery to remove whatever they could of the tumor. As a result, he lost 25% of his left side body movement. He went through PT and started on chemo and radiation therapy beginning on his 12th birthday. During all of this, Trevor continued to practice with his baseball team and bowled competitively. He actually qualified for a national tournament that year, for the first time. He also bowled in the Junior Gold tourney in Indy, even though he was going through chemo and had no strength. After the tournament, Trevor received the Sportsmanship Award from that national tournament.
Several months later, we learned that the tumor had stopped growing and was no longer in his brain. In November of 2016, Trevor was diagnosed NED (No Evidence of Disease). He started playing ball and leading a “normal” life again. Everything was going great until an evening in March, when Trevor started having seizures again. We rushed him to Children’s Hospital Colorado for another MRI and learned the tumor had begun growing again. This time, there was no cure. We had to tell Trevor that he was going to die.
When we had that hard conversation with Dr. Bob Casey and our child at Children’s, we asked Trevor what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. His answer would surprise most people. He wanted to go to high school and go to a dance there. This boy had a ticket to do anything he wanted and he chose to attend high school. He also decided he would participate in a clinical trial chemotherapy. He knew it would not help him, and most likely would make his life a living hell, but when we asked Trevor why he wanted to do it, his response was; “I want to take this chemo because it won’t help me, but it might help someone else later.”
It was determined that the trial was not helping; it was only a matter of a few months, before Trevor passed on October 4, 2017.
After Trevor passed, in an International Magazine called “Bowlers Journal”, they named Trevor “THE PERSON OF THE YEAR” for the way he presented himself. They honored him because what he went through united the Bowling Community as one, and his courage throughout.
9NEWS Interview with David Kling and Amber Dunlap
2022 Cooper Deming
Cooper Deming was the kind of kid who caught the attention of parents, teachers and everyone he met. He had a sparkle in his eye, and his kind and unassuming demeanor instantly put others at ease. Cooper loved and excelled at sports of all kinds, especially baseball. He played it with incredible joy, passion and devotion and looked forward to the day he would wear the baseball uniform for the North High School Vikings. He loved the Colorado Rockies, the color purple, bacon cheeseburgers, camping and making s’mores. He hated fruit. And naps. And sitting still. He was soft-spoken and generous, and filled with joy. He loved life and really made the most of every day. He never slept later than 7am – he had too much to do. He was a dedicated friend, and a patient, protective and mischievous big brother to Calvin and Helen.
June 2, 2016, was no ordinary day for Cooper. It was the last day of school and the day before his 12th birthday. He was full of anticipation—of summer fun and new freedoms like spending days at the pool and riding around the neighborhood with his buddies. And of all the sports he would play.
But, while trying out for a new soccer team, he didn’t play as well as usual due to a sudden sensation of double vision. He worried he wouldn’t make the team.
Next up was a baseball game, where he struggled and missed a few easy fly balls. We figured he was tired, or maybe he needed glasses. We didn’t worry. The next day, his birthday, he and 10 of his friends gathered on the front porch after school and we took them all to the pool, spending the rest of the day and night swimming and eating burgers. It was a great day. It was also the last day of normalcy.
The next morning was the start of a long odyssey that included weeks of visits to eye doctors, family physicians and ophthalmologists. And worsening double vision. It was unnerving and uncertain. We had no idea what we were dealing with until an MRI showed the unthinkable—a brain tumor with a type and location that ruled out both biopsy and surgical removal. That day our world came crashing down.
It crashed down many more times over the next 11 months. Read More Here
2021 Koby Gruenwald
Koby was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor, in March 2016. Our lives were turned upside down, but filled with meaning and grit over the next 23 months. Koby passed away Jan 19, 2018, just seven weeks after his bar mitzvah.
Our family attended the Courage Classic in 2016, and decided to ride together ever since. It was a highlight for all of us. It was empowering and it was great to be part of such a positive community.
In 2020, the Courage Classic went virtual due to COVID- and Micah took his experience with the Front Rangers youth bike club to create his own local bike ride- the Tour de Koby. We rode 65 miles together- with over 50 friends participating throughout the community.
We did the Tour de Koby again in 2021, and were honored to be in Copper, as our team, the Wheels of Justice, honored Koby at the Courage Classic.
2019 Nathan Gehris
Nathan will not be the last child to face a life-threatening illness, and my family will not be the last to navigate a frightening cancer diagnosis. My 20th Courage Classic is both a personal challenge and an opportunity to support positive outcomes for kids and families who need Children’s Colorado.
From “The Face of an Angel” by Raven
I will hold on to my love
And my passions with grace
And when I lose grip
I will picture your face
The face of an angel
That came to my side
To brighten my heart
And made the darkness subside
2018 Fynn Cox
On December 19, 2016 a week after his brain biopsy, Fynn was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor known as DIPG. This stands for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Effectively a stage 4, incurable cancer with the lowest survival rate of all pediatric cancers. DIPG affects 2-300 kids each year and has a 5 year survival rate of <1%. The median overall survival of kids diagnosed with DIPG is approximately 9 months with radiation and 4 to 6 months without.
I, and my family and friends are riding the Courage Classic and for Wheels of Justice in particular because they raise funds that go directly to the CCBD (Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders) at Children’s Hospital. The CCBD has been instrumental in helping our family cope with the devastating news we received. They have offered support and information crucial in helping us put the pieces of our lives back together and forging a path forward. Without their care and support we would be lost. In fact, the clinic has a Fellow on staff who is working on brain tissue collected from Fynn’s biopsy in December. We have hope that the Children’s CCBD, partnered with other clinics across the world will someday find a cure for DIPG and all of the devastating cancers that take our children away from us much too soon.
2017 Jared Lujan
Jared Carlos Lujan, the ultimate Google Eyed Warrior was truly courageous in the his battle with his cancer. His battle ended in victory on April 4, 2006 when went home to be in the presence of Our Lord and Savior. To honor his life, his battle, his spirit, and the hospital that made such a difference during this battle, we setup Jared’s Google Eyed Warrior Team ten years ago to ride in the Courage Classic. My family found such a wonderful resource in the hospital when there are very limited resources. It is vital that those who are impacted by such awful diseases have such a great resource to help them in the new struggle they may be facing. Children’s Hospital Colorado helps makes sense of a senseless situation, and we will always help raise money so the efforts of the entire staff of the hospital can be felt by those who need them most.
2016 Delaney Goodner
Delaney soared on December 9, 2011. During her 3 1/2 year battle, the doctors, nurses, and staff at Children’s became part of our family. They loved and supported Delaney and did everything possible to cure her. Even in the final months, they looked to Delaney for direction and when she said fight, they never stopped. And we never lost hope. Our team is “Kick Cancer’s Ass”. I hope the name doesn’t offend you as there is a special story behind the name.
In Fall of 2008, when Delaney was in the early stages of her treatment I ran across the Carepage of a young man in Wyoming who was being treated at Children’s. He didn’t have Rhabdo (Delaney’s cancer) but at first they thought he did. I could tell from his postings that he was a wonderful young man and from a wonderful family. During one of Delaney’s stays in the hospital we ended up next door to this young man and I was fortunate to meet his awesome, strong mother. Before he passed he told his mom to have Delaney, Kick Cancer’s Butt. When I mentioned it to my son and friend, they recommended a slight change.
2015 Hazel Sievers
Hazel Anne Sievers fought Anaplastic Ependymoma, a form of brain cancer, for most of her life. She was diagnosed in 2011 at just 6 months of age and promptly began treatment at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Her family will be forever grateful for the skill, compassion, and expertise shown by her care team. After four rounds of chemotherapy, two resections, and six weeks of radiation therapy, Hazel was tumor free and loving life as a happy and curious toddler.
In 2013, after showing new and troubling symptoms, Hazel was diagnosed with a metastatic recurrence. Sadly, there is no cure for metastatic Ependymoma.
Despite Hazel’s tragic prognosis, she continued to live life with zest and enthusiasm. Like many other toddlers, Hazel loved to get out of the house and explore the world around her. She loved watching the bees on the flowers at the botanic gardens, talking to the animals at the zoo, and exploring Colorado from the comfort of a backpack on hikes. Hazel was a gentle, loving person who quietly made an impression of every person she met. She even participated in The Courage Classic in 2013.
On August 4, 2014, Hazel passed away peacefully at the age of 3.
The H-Team partners with Wheels and rides in Hazel’s memory.
Remember Hazel says “GO!”