GOLETA, Calif. -- Sunday morning teammates, classmates, friends and family filled the performing arts center at Dos Pueblos High School to remember Trevor Katz. The 16-year-old junior died on February 4th of a rare liver disease.
On February 4th, DPHS track and cross-country coach, Nash Jimenez, said it was a perfect day for track practice. But with 200 meters left in a time trail Trevor Katz collapsed on this track. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
Sunday at his high school his friend remembered him saying, “Thank you for being the best friend in the entire world. We’ll miss you forever Trevor Katz and love you always.”
They say he was a runner, friend with a helping hand and a goofball.
Peter Speier is co-captain for the DPHS track team. He said, “[Trevor] was like the only one that wore this [propeller] hat. And everyone was like why is he doing that? He didn’t care what people thought. He was his own person, he was creative. And it’s kind of funny it went from why is he doing that, now everyone’s doing that.”
When it came to numbers and structure, he kept everyone in check.
Jimenez remembered, “He did quote me on one time I was trying to change the rules one day on the run and he said no on this day we have to do this many miles.”
While Speier added, “As a captain I would be telling him we’d be doing this next, and I would be wrong and he’d be like no we’re doing this next. Darn it, Trevor got me again.”
When he grew up his family and friends said Trevor wanted to be an EMT or nurse so he could help people. Trevor showed that loyalty and desire to help those in need in his last race. He ran a slow start during the first half of the race to help push his best friend who had struggling start.
“So he sacrificed himself at the race to help his teammate," recalled Jimenez. "That is really huge, especially when you’re competing you want to do the best for the team. And at that moment after the race I realized he did the best for the team.”
Trevor’s dad, Jared, said Trevor was born with Biliary Atresia - a rare liver disease. The American Liver Foundation stats few children born with the disease live beyond two years old.
“So his whole life and a lot of credit to his mom, for always dutifully taking him to see the specialists regularly," said Jared Katz. "And they were quite amazed that someone with his disease could be doing so well, grow so big.”
Only a few days before Trevor’s 17th birthday, his friends and family came to his high school, instead of celebrating another year with their friend and son, they remember his life.
From the podium during the memorial Trevor's grandfather said, “G-Pa bids you farewell. And farewell from Grandma and all who love you. Farewell gentle sweet Trevor, farewell.”
And his mom tearfully added, "“We hope you can carry Trevor in your hearts forever, because that is all he would ever want.”