Senior Travis Pavao, family unite in response to sickness

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Senior Travis Pavao, family unite in response to sickness

(COURTESY/ TRAVIS PAVAO)

(COURTESY/ TRAVIS PAVAO)

(COURTESY/ TRAVIS PAVAO)

(COURTESY/ TRAVIS PAVAO)

VICTORIA WILKINSON and CLAIRE OERTLY

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Roseville High School senior Travis Pavao and his family have been doing as much as they can to help support his three year old little sister, Kraven, who is sick with leukemia.

According to Pavao, he first found out about his sister’s condition about a year ago and it immediately took a toll on him emotionally.

“I kind of just broke down right there,” Pavao said. “It’s been emotional.”

Before the diagnosis, the family recognized a change in Kraven’s attitudes and physical state. For example, she was tired all the time and had bruises all over her body, but the family did not think much of it due to their active lifestyle.

“As a parent you try not to think bad anyways,” Pavao’s mother Sheree Schober said.

It wasn’t until she noticed bruises on Kraven’s forehead that she took her to the hospital.

When Schober found out about her daughter’s sickness she was crushed.

“I was losing my marbles. I was crying and my husband was at work,” Schober said. “I was going crazy.”

To add to the stress, while in the hospital, Schober and her husband Mike received the news that the establishment where they both worked was being shut down, creating another obstacle in their lives.

(COURTESY/ TRAVIS PAVAO)

(COURTESY/ TRAVIS PAVAO)

“The place where we had worked for 20 years was closing their doors,” Schober said. “So we both lost our jobs while we were finding out that our daughter had cancer all at the same time.”

After some time had passed, Pavao and his family became more united and able to help despite the emotional wreckage.

“We’re kind of getting stronger as a family. We stick together as much as possible,” Pavao said.

 According to Pavao, a positive attitude is the key to staying strong in such a hard time.

“We just try to be happy and supportive about it and not try to think of the worst thing,” Pavao said. “We try to be as positive as possible because none of us want to see anything bad happen to her.”

While Pavao lives in Roseville, the rest of his family, including his mom and sister, live in the Bay Area so he does not get to see them very often.

According to Pavao’s friend, senior Nick Tirone, Pavao had a hard time coping with his situation and it was obvious to his friends.

“I was upset because he was really broken about it,” Tirone said. “He’s my best friend and it’s hard to see him like that.”

The change not only in Pavao’s attitude but the rest of the family as well was apparent.

“All the kids, it affects all of them,” Schober said. “The family has always been close but now they’re scared of everything, not petrified or paranoid, but if the kids start getting bruises from playing outside you get scared.”

Tirone recognizes both Pavao and Kraven’s progressions from the beginning until now, and says that the two have a direct connection with each other’s emotional and physical state.

“He was closing everyone off and just wanted to stay home all the time,” Tirone said. “She’s getting better so he’s getting happier.”

According to Pavao, the family as well as several friends have been doing as much as they can to raise awareness for their situation and get all the help they can.

“All of my friends know about it so they’ve been posting about it. We have a giant family so it’s been getting around a lot,” Pavao said. “I’ve just been posting on every single one of my social media and just letting people know anything will help out.”

The family’s ultimate goal besides the health of  Kraven is to start a shaved ice business where she can work when she grows up and donate a percentage of every snow cone sold to children’s hospitals to help find a cure for leukemia.

“She loves snow cones and slurpees, so our family goal is to get a shave ice trailer, and we’d want to have it painted orange for leukemia,” Pavao said.

Schober has created various platforms to raise money to help pay for Kraven’s hospital stays. The family has a GoFundMe account and Schober has made T-shirts, reversible purses, earrings and bracelets towards the cause.

The bracelets are $5, earrings $2-5, and purses $25 which are all available for purchase. So far the GoFundMe has raised $2,865 to go toward the hospital bills.