Cancer survivor raising money for Relay for Life

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

A Letcher County teenager battling cancer is using his disease to raise awareness and money to fight it.

16 year-old Travis Morton was diagnosed in 2009 with stage four brain and spine cancer.

He has improved since, but is heading back to Cincinnati this summer for another round of chemotherapy.

"After all I've been through, I have a lot of anger and I bring it out in my music," said Morton.

When Travis Morton was diagnosed with cancer, he was 15 years old, a sophomore, and a guitar player.

"He lost everything. He had to start all over again, from walking, talking, playing the guitar, everything," said Melody Morton, Travis' mother.

"They would bring me a guitar, and I couldn't remember how to play any of it," said Travis Morton.

Although he still struggles walking, with hard work and support from his close-knit family, he taught himself how to play again. He's putting together a CD, and plans to donate some of the proceeds to cancer research.

"I don't fight for myself, I fight for others," said Travis.

In 2009, while he was fighting for his life in Cincinnati, friends in Letcher County held fundraisers to help him and his family.

Now, Travis is an honorary chairperson for the county's Relay for Life, and is putting together events to raise money to fight all cancer.

Last week, he put together a fundraiser here at the Blackey Community Center that raised more than $2,000.

"I'm just sick of all this cancer. I'm gonna try my best. Even if it doesn't benefit me, I wanna raise the most amount of money, and help to deal with everything," said Travis.

Letcher County's Relay for Life will be on June 3 in Whitesburg, and Travis says he will be playing the National Anthem.

Another fundraiser Morton has organized will be on May 7 at Whitesburg's Riverside Park from noon to midnight.

There will be skits, face painting, games, and music featuring Travis on guitar.

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