Cancer on Campus

Students Ella Matundan and Mikaela Bartsch wanted one more photo with Mr. Chertavian before he left for Florida.

Students Ella Matundan and Mikaela Bartsch wanted one more photo with Mr. Chertavian before he left for Florida.

Alexis Ella Matundan, Reporter

News broke over the winter break that Mr. Vahan Chertavian was diagnosed with throat cancer. He emailed teachers and parents informing that he will leave for the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year. He will return for the 2014-2015 school year.

Mr. Chertavian went to school on January 7 & 8 to formally say his goodbye’s. During those two days, students were in his class during recesses just to have him in their presence one last time before he left.

January 8, 2014 was his last day for the school year. His room was decorated with writings on the board, signs to boost his esteem, balloons on the walls and over the doors, & students eager to get a picture with him. Students wrote signs that said “Chertavian can beat cancer!”,  “We love you!” and many more.

He left the island that night and arrived in Orlando the following day. He later left to southern Florida. He’s taking this journey one step at a time, hence the stop in Orlando. He’ll spend this week looking for an apartment considering he’ll be in Boca Raton until 30 April.

His work ups start this week and seven weeks of radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the following week. After that first seven weeks, he’ll have another seven weeks of testing and recuperation. He said, “My understanding is that the doctors have to make me really sick to get rid of the cancer and they think that if I can get back to Kohala at the end of April, then I am doing really well.” His schedule is basically 5 days a week in the hospital for a couple of hours.

He asks us to keep him posted on the goings on at Kohala and says photos are helpful too. “If you want to see what’s up, Webster Chertavian, yes my dog, will be keeping up a blog on Facebook,” says Chertavian. Through it all he still has a bit of humor.