22-year-old Washington County native and Frontier High School graduate Travis Flores was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at four-months old and has remained dedicated to helping youth struggling with the illness.
Flores says that cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that attacks the respiratory and digestive systems and progressively worsens.
“It’s treated by hospital and I.V. therapy and is different for each patient,” explains Flores. “For me, it’s a couple times a year and I’m actually in Cleveland right now for treatment. It’s hard because you never really know what to expect for the future, it can progress to levels you didn’t think was possible.”
At 14-years-old Flores published his first book. While on book tour, he met many young people with terminal illness without computers or an ability to connect to the outside world. This inspired him to create his own foundation to raise money to buy computers for children, called the Travis Flores Foundation.
He says, after seven years, the foundation is being re-named “Strengthline”, and while it will still hold fundraisers to purchase laptops for children, it has a new mission as well.
“We want to create a place online for them to go and connect with others, a social media network for these kids – and that way those who already have computers can still benefit from our organization,” says Flores.
During the foundation’s rebranding, Flores says he’s seeking “angel investors” – anyone who wants to become involved and give financial support.
Travis Flores graduate from New York University in May with his master’s degree. He plans on moving to Los Angeles this summer to work in the non-profit sector and entertainment industry.
You can find more information on the Strengthline foundation online at www.travisflores.org.