Cancer No Match For Trevir Kral
Story by Alexis Mercer
April 4, 2016 was a day Trevir Kral won't forget: the day he was diagnosed with cancer. 3 years, 336 days later, Kral walked on to the floor as a starting senior for the Newaygo Lions basketball team, cancer free.
Come to any athletic event at Newaygo High School and you will see Trevir with a smile on his face. He will be setting up for an athletic event beforehand, working during the event itself to make sure everyone from referees to coaches to athletes are taken care of, and tearing down afterward.
Walk down the hallway with Trevir any day of the week and you'll be inundated with high fives, fist bumps, hugs and hellos. Everyone knows him. And everyone loves him.
Trevir shines like a star because of his positive outlook on life. He walks through life with kind words to others, offering help to anyone who may need it, and genuine happiness about him.
Life has not been easy for this 18 year old senior. On April 4, 2016, Trevir was diagnosed with leukemia. He spent two weeks in the hospital, only to have to return days later for another full week. Within the first couple months after the diagnosis he underwent chemotherapy, one round of radiation, had bone marrow removed and underwent spinal taps. For the first year after his diagnosis, he was at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing twice a week. His 2nd and 3rd years he was still there one time a week. July 9th, 2019 Trevir completed his last treatment. Today he is cancer free.
"I stayed positive the entire time. At the time of the diagnosis I told the Harknesses [his Aunt and Uncle] 'It's not in my hands, but the doctors' hands.' That was hard, but it helped me feel comfort. The whole care team is like my family," said Kral.
Ending up the athletic department's student manager started early on in his high school career. "The first day Coach VanEssen [Newaygo's varsity football coach and athletic director] worked here, he was walking around the cafeteria recruiting guys for football. I walked up to him and told him about my situation and asked if I could help. He right away said yes, and gave me all sorts of things to do." The partnership quickly turned into more than Trevir being a water boy. Kral now says "Coach is my number one role model."
Trevir can be found managing the football, basketball and baseball teams on a regular basis. But football is by far his favorite. "It's the Friday Night Lights, you know?" he says. If volleyball has a home game but football doesn't, Trevir is there to help out with that. He truly will do anything for anyone.
The opportunity arose to maybe be a part of the final game of his high school career after students kept asking him if he would ever play. Newaygo High School students posted snapchats and Instagram stories begging for Trevir to play even one play. They appreciate his dedication to athletics and the student body in general. They wanted to see him on the court as part of the team.
Coach Barrette agreed to the students' requests. Trevir has been part of the team all season, just not on the floor playing. So Trevir Kral suited up and stood with the team for the National Anthem on Thursday, March 5. His brother, Hudson Harkness had the honor of announcing his name as part of the starting lineup.
"I was nervous. I haven't played basketball since 7th grade. High school basketball is a lot different than middle school." But his nervousness didn't last long as he took a pass from his teammate and drained a shot. The insanity that ensued from the crowd was epic. There weren't many dry eyes in the gym from the Newaygo fans.
Trevir's advice? "You gotta stay positive through anything that tries to overcome you. Live your best life while you have the chance."