Indianapolis News and Headlines


Teen loses 5 uncles to muscular dystrophy

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 18:54:20-05

DECATUR TOWNSHIP, Ind. – A class of teens is working to find ways to make the world a better place. For one of those teens, his mission is more personal than the rest.

Travon Starks is a 16-year-old student at Decatur Central High School.

His community service project goal is to raise money for people living with muscular dystrophy. The funds would cover things like wheelchairs and medication.

The reason? He’s lost not one – not two – but five uncles to the disease.

Watch our video in the player above to hear firsthand from Travon.

“At first it took me a week to come up with what kind of project (I would choose),” Travon said. “Then I thought of something all my uncles had in common. They all had MD, and they all recently passed.”

He’s seen their health degrade. He saw them go from walking to being in a wheelchair. He helped care for them. He went to their funerals.

His Uncle Phillip died two years ago at the young age of 24. Travon says that loss hit him particularly hard.

“That was the last time I cried,” Travon said. “I don’t really cry. But I cried bad. Like, it hurt.”

He says he tries to focus on the good times, but it’s difficult.

“His favorite system was the Xbox, and that’s what we had in common,” Travon said. “He used to get so mad when I beat him. I miss those days though. I miss them.”

So to remember him and his other uncles, Travon is now raising money online and planning to walk in a muscular dystrophy walk in May.