October 19, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Cougars overcome Pumas Lady Titan’s vs St. Helena Great job Lady Titans Titan’s vs. Anderson Valley Northern California locals round out SCCA Championship Runoffs Kuhlman watches the orb sail Misi ready for the big hit Junior Giants return to RP Hayes comes in first Credo/Technology volley ball Local playing with Ducks Technology High School girls’ soccer INDYCAR Showcase Mata player of the match Youth tennis camp is huge success Lacrosse holds free clinic Sept. 21 Scoring the final goal Dirt track motorcycle racing comes to Sonoma County Fair Panthers trounce Cougars A collision bound to happen Heading for a goal Small town local gets drafted in MLB Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Historic car festival coming to Sonoma Valley Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save NASCAR returns to Sonoma Raceway Excitement for new football season  Cougars triumph over Vikings Move aside Man of Steel, we’ve got Ironman: Ironman triathlon returns to Sonoma County Getting it over the net Cal Ripken celebrates the end of a successful season Football suffering from decline in signups Going for a goal The Rohnert Park Rebel 12U McLaughlin team Slow pitch? Fast game! First victory in Adult Softball League Junior drag racer hits the track Cross country standouts Burning rubber at the Sonoma Raceway Hard fought and hard won: Men’s basketball championship seized by one point Cal Ripken 12 U moves on to regional tournament Poor RP field conditions cause injuries Temperatures rise in heated Summer Slam Tournament Drag racing comes to Sonoma Raceway RP 9U Blue sweeps it all in NorCal tournament RP takes an early lead in state tournament

RC Cougar fan facing surgery receives outpouring of support

  • Trevor Barella is seen with his signed football from the Rancho Cotate High School varsity football team. They also came out to Barella's birthday party to show support and encouragement prior to his August 7 surgery. Jane Peleti

  • Trevor Barella is seen with his custom made shirt with the #trevorstrong in support of his extensive surgery he will have to undergo August 7. Jane Peleti

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
August 3, 2018

When Stacey Barella sat down to learn that her son’s seizures were being caused by a more serious issue called carotid artery disease, a condition that cuts off blood flow to the brain, the thought was quite scary. However, despite the intimidating diagnosis, the mother of two was later pleasantly surprised when she discovered the outpouring of support her son Trevor would receive from the Rancho Cotate High School varsity football team.

Trevor Barella has been a hydration technician for a little over a year for Rancho’s varsity football team. He has a long-standing history of health issues and also has down syndrome. Yet, he didn’t let that stop him from rooting on his favorite team with Cougar pride and when the team offered him the position he couldn’t say no.

The number one Cougar fan would make sure the team stayed hydrated during summer practices in the hot sun and would also come out onto the field during games to run water to teammates. 

Barella says her son was thrilled to get a chance to help out on the team.

However, when Trevor started having epileptic episodes at school his health took a turn for the worse and he continued to have seizures.

“He started having some episodes that appeared to be sort of fainting/seizures… This year, though, his health started getting much worse and they were struggling to find out what was happening,” Barella said. “And then we finally got a diagnosis about a month ago that was much more serious than we thought it was going to be.”

After learning of the diagnosis, it was determined that Trevor will have to undergo a major surgery set for August 7. 

Neurosurgeons at Stanford Hospital will have to take another artery from his brain to re-correct blood flow to the right side of his brain.

The whole of the Rancho football team has already shown support and strength for Trevor, yet, team members took their support a step forward and organized a support/birthday party for him earlier this month with t-shirts sporting the hashtag #trevorstrong, signed jerseys and footballs.

“We threw a huge birthday party for him since his surgery is next week on Tuesday and I wanted him to have some fun stuff to do before that,” Barella said, her voice breaking with emotion. “Pretty much two-thirds of the football team was able to be here. They brought him a shirt, signed a football and played games with him...”

Barella says throughout the season, “There was a bond that I was totally unprepared for seeing happening.”

Prior to Trevor’s diagnosis, the team also worked to connect with Trevor by making sure he was all right, texting him, inviting him over to play video games and welcoming his family onto the field to oversee his health.

“For me that support for him is amazing and we are really grateful to be a part of that community,” Barella said. “This is all coming from their hearts and they are all a really great group of kids.”

Barella says she is glad culture has changed around people with disabilities — instead of being shunned or not treated the same, more people are treated with equal respect and are included in activities.

She says in years past when Trevor was in elementary school he sometimes had difficulty making friends, but now that has changed with the Cougar community embracing him with open arms and encouragement for the road ahead.

“For me as Trevor’s mom, it just makes me so happy to see how happy they make him and how much they accept him and include him,” Barella exclaimed.

When asked if there were any fundraising efforts underway for Trevor’s surgery, Barella said luckily their insurance plan covers the entire operation, another facet to be thankful for.