Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

'Tremendous Young Man' ; Friends Share Memories, Laughs at Memorial for Sam Featherstone

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

'Tremendous Young Man' ; Friends Share Memories, Laughs at Memorial for Sam Featherstone

Article excerpt

Despite the many awful things associated with cancer, the first thing Ian Barron noticed when he saw his friend Sam Featherstone after his pediatric brain cancer diagnosis was his hair loss. Featherstone, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma - a form of brain cancer - in September 2009, died Wednesday after battling pediatric brain cancer for more than three years. He was 19.

The Newburgh resident had graduated in May from Evansville's Memorial High School where he was one of the class of 2012's valedictorians. And on Thursday night, hardly a seat in Memorial's auditorium was empty as family, friends and classmates gathered to celebrate Featherstone's life.

Through tears, sniffles and laughs, people from throughout the room walked to the podium to share stories of Featherstone and how he had impacted their lives.

Barron, 18, kept everyone laughing as he shared his story. The two had attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Newburgh together, and Barron said in seventh and eighth grade they often had "lengthy, heartfelt debates about whose hair was better."

Barron said he didn't have the fancy haircut, but his argument was baby soft hair, "which is weird for a dude." He said Sam believed his feathery hair was better. The two never came to an agreement.

"I always kind of imagine heaven as a sort of beachy setting," Barron said. "So I picture him lounging on those short, long lounge chairs with an umbrella drink just chilling under an umbrella. And he has this majestic, not Fabio-esque, but I imagine his hair. But he doesn't go swimming, he doesn't want to mess it up."

Featherstone had undergone surgeries and chemotherapy treatments at St. Jude Children's Hospital and was attending Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on a full scholarship with aspirations to become a pediatric oncologist. …

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