Archive for Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Trevor Leeker leaves many lessons of love

February 21, 2001

Trevor Leeker, the infant who touched the community and the toddler who defied doctors' expectations, died Saturday at his home. He was 21 months old.

The son of Bill and Michelle Leeker, rural Baldwin, was diagnosed with Krabbe disease as an infant, after losing developmental skills such as holding up his head and reaching for things. The genetic disease was terminal, probably before Trevor would turn 1.

Trevor celebrated his first birthday on May 14. Then he surpassed the "maximum" life expectancy for most children with Krabbe disease 18 months. The community rallied with fund-raisers to help the family pay for medical expenses. The Fox 4 Love Fund provided the Leekers with a hot tub to help with Trevor's regular physical and occupational therapy. Trevor even became a horseback rider, receiving beneficial hippotherapy to strengthen muscles and his respiratory system.

He battled pneumonia, a life-threatening complication of the disease, three times and won. Sickness, although not pneumonia, returned last Tuesday. His body was just wearing out, his family said.

"He was in his mother's arms. It was very quiet and very peaceful," said Karen Madl, of Trevor's death. Madl is Michelle Leeker's mom and Trevor's grandma.

Trevor was a star to family, friends and his 6-year-old brother Zac. At Christmas time, a star was named after Trevor, and a telescope was given to Zac to always have his little brother in sight.

"Trevor taught all of a lot about life and a lot about giving and the importance of having community and family support," Madl said.

Funeral services are at 10 a.m. today at the Annunciation Catholic Church. A scholarship fund has been set up in Trevor's name. Madl said the scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing careers in the medical or special education field.

"We learned a lot about the caring of medical and special education providers," Madl said.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Trevor Leeker Scholarship Fund, in care of the Lamb-Roberts-Heise Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, 66006.

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