COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — We first met Trenton Nowak three weeks ago. He was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in June and given six months to live. He lost the battle just two months later on Sunday, August 17.
“Really hectic and sad and overwhelming. We’re just trying to keep it together and get everything done that needs to get done,” said his grandmother, Ronnie Nowak.
Since his diagnosis, his family made it their mission to help Trenton do everything he’s always wanted to do.
What they didn’t expect was a whole community to step up to help make the short time trenton had left as special as it was.
“It’s been wonderful for him. All the love these people had, all the appreciation for people and hoping in some way, we can pay it forward,” said Nowak.
Although gone, Trenton’s already giving back, donating his corneas and samples of his brain tumor to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for research.
“Part of him will go on but he’s always wanted to help people and he liked helping people. He told us before he wanted to help people,” said Nowak.
Even while terminally ill, Nowak says he continued to teach the family important lessons.
“No matter how hard it gets, you keep going and you keep fighting. You just keep loving, more patience. You have to take the time because you don’t know how much you have left,” said Nowak.
She says she sees reminders of Trenton everywhere—from the tree at the park he loved to climb to his bow and arrow. But, she’ll also remember how hard her grandson fought before it was time for him to peacefully go.
“He fought until the end to do the things he wanted to do,” she said.
If you’d like to donate to help with costs, you’ll find a link to Trenton’s donation page here. A memorial service will be held at the Cottage Grove Faith Center on Saturday at 6 p.m.