Members of the Cavalier Marching Band Alumni Association,
You may remember from our newsletter last summer our update on Travis Cook (Tuba ’11) mentioning that he had been diagnosed with Anapestic Ependymoma, a form of brain cancer. It is with great sadness that we inform you of his passing last Friday, March 2.
In early February of this year, Travis’ mom posted on Facebook that an MRI revealed his cancer was progressing extensively. It prevented him from most daily tasks like walking and texting. His family asked that we all share our memories of Travis on his Facebook wall, so that they may read them to Travis and lift his spirits. The outpouring of love that we saw was incredible, and it shows that our support for one another truly does not end when we leave the field or leave UVA.
His family members, including a brother and CMB alumnus Hunter Cook, have tried to express the intense emotions and feelings that they and those who knew Travis are feeling. It is impossible to describe losing someone so close, especially such a wonderful role model. Travis was genuine, kind of heart, and went the extra mile on everything he was passionate about and believed in. You could not ask for a better friend to raise your spirit, support you, or just show up with a big, infectious smile. That is the spirit with which we should remember Travis Cook.
On Saturday, March 10, there will be a memorial service to celebrate his life. It will take place at 2:30 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Middleton, Wisconsin. For more details on the service, visit this website.
Last year, Travis raised awareness for CERN (the Collaborative for Ependymoma Research). His efforts garnered almost $10,000 towards brain cancer research, and you can continue to donate to this cause here.
One special way that we can all honor Travis on the day of the service is to wear orange.
This was Travis’ favorite color, and attendees of the ceremony are being encouraged to wear something orange. Whether you can attend or not, pull out some orange (we know you all have a plethora of options) and wear it in his memory. We’re sure that his family would appreciate seeing all of this love, so if you are comfortable, post a photo on his Facebook wall. Let us remember the great times and think about how enriched our lives are because of Travis.
We thank you for your constant support – of the band that brought us together, our association that aims to keep us connected, and of each other. No matter how far we drift physically, there is comfort in knowing that our band family is always there.
CMBAA Board of Directors