Trevor VanSkiver knows the importance of giving back


Sophomore Trevor VanSkiver and his dad run a countless number of races.

In fact, he and his family decided to start running these races to fundraise for cancer awareness organizations. Not only do they run, but they also rent out movie theaters and donate their time to different charities and foundations. Through all of these compassionate acts of service, he and his family have shown their dedication to fighting towards a cure to the infamous disease.

“[My family and I] do a lot of fundraisers,” Trevor said. “We do a lot for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Make-A-Wish. We actually created a triathlon team with a bunch of other people The Dream Team. My dad and I typically do the runs, and they are super challenging but also very fun.”

Through the creation of “The Dream Team,” they have given their time and effort to these various organizations. This group stems from the Make-A-Wish organization and challenges the participants by conquering physical obstacles while also raising money to bring kids hope.

And while Trevor has engaged in many runs with “The Dream Team,” he has never done a triathlon. This year was going to be the first year Trevor participated in one of the triathlons, but unfortunately, it was canceled because of COVID-19. Thankfully, he plans on training with his dad to get ready for the race next year, primarily because his family has a special connection to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

When Trevor was two years old, he was diagnosed with Leukemia. 

After fighting an extensive and arduous battle, he finally beat the notorious disease. He has been proudly cancer-free for around twelve years. In his favor, Trevor does not remember what it was like living with the disease, but still, it has impacted him in a considerable amount of ways today. His family has changed the way they live to be as present as they can in each other’s lives and truly live in the moment.

One special tradition they have initiated is going on camping trips all over the country.

“We love to camp,” Trevor said. “We have an RV, and we just travel around and go on different camping trips all over for about a week or two. We got the trailer just before school let out in March, but before that, we had been tent camping for a long time. We went out west to [national parks] like Yellowstone and Zion. It was pretty beautiful and a super cool experience. We also have a boat that we take to different lakes over the summer whenever we want to.”

Family is a big part of Trevor’s life, and he cherishes these trips with them. They have impacted him and how he lives in numerous ways, teaching him how to truly live.

That way I can work with what I dealt with and be like the people that helped me.”

— Trevor VanSkiver

During his fight, his family was a crucial part of his life, and growing up, he learned from his parents that giving back is necessary—learning this from his dad who created the triathlon team. He found out many ways he could possibly help people in the future, one being the aspiration to become a doctor.

“[Beating cancer] made me really want to go into the medical field,” Trevor said. “That way I can work with what I dealt with and be like the people that helped me. I either want to go into oncology or cardiology. I am not sure what exactly yet, but I know I want to do something in the medical field.” 

Giving back has always been a part of Trevor’s life. Growing up partaking in all kinds of different fundraisers, he has become accustomed to it. From being a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to contributing to the foundation, his main goal in life is to help people get through what he went through, even if it is just for a small amount of time. 

“[Beating cancer] has made me want to give back more,” Trevor said. “I just want to give back to the community that helped me. I honestly just want to help people get through what I went through.”