School Honors Student Who Lost His Battle With Brain Cancer

Homecoming king and football player received his diploma early

By Erika Gonzalez
|  Friday, Jun 7, 2013  |  Updated 6:54 PM EDT
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News4's Erika Gonzalez reports from Springfield, Va., where students at West Springfield High School are remembering a beloved student who died from brain cancer a week before graduation.

Erika Gonzalez

News4's Erika Gonzalez reports from Springfield, Va., where students at West Springfield High School are remembering a beloved student who died from brain cancer a week before graduation.

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He's West Springfield High School's homecoming king this year. He's also the first graduate of the 2013 class. And Thursday, Jordan Trunfio lost his fight with brain cancer.

A handful of teachers and students were bedside Monday when a frail Trunfio, dressed in cap and gown, received that for which he had worked so hard.

"We had Pomp and Circumstance playing on an iPod, and it was short but it was absolutely a ceremony,” Assistant Principal Becky Brandt said. “He was aware and he said thank you.”

Matt Ahola remembers the day last year when his football teammate noticed something odd.

"We were at practice, and he said his right arm was tingling,” Matt Ahola said.

After meeting with doctors, it was clear.

“The day he told me this was at lunch, and he said, ‘Matt, I have brain cancer,’” Ahola said. “That moment will be in my life for the rest of my life. That was the first time it really hit me that this can happen to anybody.”

Students showed solidarity with a whiteout Friday, wearing white clothes and the No. 58.

Trunfio wore that number on the football field, and now it's memorialized. No one will ever play football for West Springfield in No. 58 again.

"He fought to the very end just like the Spartans did,” a teammate said. “He is the greatest Spartan that will ever walk through these halls.”

At next Friday's graduation, students will wear orange ribbons and the No. 58 on their caps to honor him.

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