"(Travis Freeman) is a
sensitive and lively student who interacts well with others -- not 'despite his handicap'
but because of his intelligence and social strength."
-- Pam Kremer, an Honors
Program assistant professor
14, 2000 (Lexington, Ky.) At
age 12, Travis Freeman lost his sight to a battle with bacterial meningitis. But the
disease that could easily have taken his life, didnt take his will.
continued, with help from his teammates, in his position as center for the Corbin High
School football team. He graduated ninth in his class as an A student and a
member of the National Honor Society. He came to the University of Kentucky in the fall of
1999 to study business management. He became a member of the Honors Program, and he joined
the UK football team as a student manager at the request of coach Hal Mumme.
his first year in college, he is being honored by UK faculty, staff and students who have
been inspired by his will. He is the 2000 recipient of the Carol S. Adelstein Outstanding
Student Award, given annually to a student with a disability who best serves as an
inspiration to the University community through excellence in academic achievement,
leadership, extracurricular activities or social and personal qualities.
a superior student and an impressive person, said Pem Kremer, an Honors Program
assistant professor who nominated Freeman for the award. Hes a sensitive and
lively student who interacts well with others not despite his handicap
but because of his intelligence and social strength.
said receiving the award is a great honor, especially since he is the first freshman to
win it. However, he said he didnt do anything special to earn the award.
dont think of my blindness as a disability or a handicap. Its just
me, he said. That in turn is an inspiration to some people.
than a hindrance, his blindness is a challenge from God, he said.
know he has a purpose for this. He had a purpose right from the beginning, Freeman
have estimated that Freeman is one of only two people known to recover from bacterial
meningitis with only the loss of eyesight. The disease kills 70 percent of people it
infects and causes the remaining 30 percent to become invalids.
not in class or working with the football team, Freeman shares his message with others. He
is a frequent speaker with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
will receive a plaque commemorating his Adelstein Award and a $1,000 check at a 3:30 p.m.
April 13 ceremony. He is the son of Larry and Mary Freeman of Corbin and a 1999 graduate
of Corbin High School.
award is named for the late Carol S. Adelstein, wife of retired UK English professor
Michael Adelstein. Carol Adelstein, who used a wheelchair because of polio, provided an
inspiration to persons with disabilities by leading a meaningful, successful life at a
time when individuals with disabilities were not encouraged to be independent and
contributing members of society.