The hearts of many in the Seaholm High School community are hurting this week after senior Collin Trask, 18, passed away Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Diagnosed in seventh grade, Trask suffered from a medulloblastoma, a kind of brain tumor that lodged itself in Trask's brain and spinal cord.
After suffering a stroke on Jan. 15, Trask passed away around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to his Care Pages profile. Trask turned 18 years old Jan. 16 and would have graduated from Seaholm this spring.
Trask is the son of John and Myra Trask of Troy. He also leaves behind his older sister Patty and his grandparents Jack and Dorothy Trask and Evelyn Gibbons.
Trask was a longtime hero in the Seaholm community, with students showing their support through candlelight vigils, fundraisers and on social media, using the hashtags #teamcollin and #prayforcollin.
"I think a lot," Trask told the Highlander in February 2012 about maintaining a positive attitude. "You have to realize that there's no reason to worry about things that are beyond your control, and just do things to make life more enjoyable."
A fan of Legos and football, Trask saw the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, courtesy of the Rainbow Connection. And, in August, Trask met his baseball hero, Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers.
During the final months of his illness, Trask was confined to his home and the hospital, though according to his Care Pages journal, he was able to enjoy his last Christmas with his family even though his health continued to decline.
"Christmas was the traditional time for the four of us," the journal reads. "We open gifts in the morning one package at a time. Taking turns so that everyone can see all the other gifts."
"In the days following Christmas, Collin has been able to enjoy playing a couple of the new video games he received and put together one of his Lego sets," the journal adds. "However, his energy level has been waning. He sleeps longer into the day and is up for shorter periods of time. He has had a few visits from friends, but needs to keep them much shorter."
Already, there's been an oupouring of support for Trask's family and friends on Care Pages and Twitter.
"Thank you for sharing Collin with all of us," Ruth Copley writes on Care Pages. "He was such a fine and brave young man. He was the strongest person I've ever known. He will always be a part of us and a part of each of us went with him."
"Collin Trask was a true inspiration," Scott Anderson tweeted Wednesday. "His strong battle taught me a lesson of courage and toughness."
A public visitation for Trask will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Desmond & Sons Funeral Home in Troy, at 2600 Crooks Rd.
A funeral service, meanwhile, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Birmingham, at 300 Willits St. Visitation begins at the church at 9 a.m. and a light luncheon will follow. Trask will be interred at the White Chapel Cemetery in Troy.
Memorial tributes may be made to the Rainbow Connection, at 621 West University Rd. in Rochester. Visit www.rainbowconnection.org for more information.
"We appreciate that so many of you have been earnestly praying for Collin," the last entry on Trask's Care Pages journal reads. "He is now free from cancer and free from pain. He is resting in peace at home with his Father in Heaven."