Sebastian Terrell Passes Away After Fight with Leukemia


January 1, 2019

Jennifer Lynn Greenway

Sebastian (Seb) Terrell, a Tompkins High 2018 graduate, passed away on Friday, December 28 after a hard-fought battle with leukemia.

Sebastian Terrell lived in Katy and attended Katy ISD schools since he was in Kindergarten.

Terrell participated in all sports growing up but at Tompkins High School, he was a standout athlete in track and football and was known for his muscular physique. During his sophomore year, Terrell scored a 66-yard touchdown against Seven Lakes leading Tompkins to their first win. Off the field, he was fun, giving, caring, one-of-a-kind, spunky, strong, and vibrant; all the things that parents pray that their children grow up to be.

Sudden Illness

In July 2017, Terrell began throwing up with what he thought was a stomach bug. After a night of severe stomach pain and throwing up black liquid, he was taken to the emergency room. Doctors discovered a perforated stomach ulcer. The ulcer caused doctors to run many more tests discovering that Terrell had leukemia. Up until this time, he exhibited no signs of illness. Terrell faced cancer head on with determination and never gave up the fight.

(Before diagnosis, the Terrell family enjoyed family vacations together to places all over the world. Family vacation in 2016...Sebastian, Meghan, A.J. & Annabel)

A Hard Fought Battle

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), which is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow, was the diagnosis. This type of cancer is very aggressive with a survival rate of 26% at the five year mark. Terrell was treated at MD Anderson in the Houston Medical Center spending a majority of this treatment in the hospital.

In February 2018, Terrell completed his treatment and “rang the bell” celebrating his recovery. He was ready to finish his senior year of high school and be a normal teenager again. Sadly, a month later, the leukemia returned.

Terrell Tough

Through the tough times, friends and family say Terrell kept his great sense of humor. At one point, he decided to dye his hair pink before losing it all in the next round of treatment. A Facebook group "Terrell Tough" was formed with the onset of the relapse giving friends and supporters daily updates on his heath and other adventures. The page eventually led to almost 1,000 followers.

Graduating With His Class

Thanks to the Houston ISD homebound program at MD Anderson and Matt Copeland, a coach at Tompkins, Terrell was able to graduate from high school. Proudly, he walked across the stage in May of 2018 alongside his Tompkins friends and classmates. The applause began as Terrell slowly approached the stage to receive his diploma (wearing a medical mask due to his compromised immune system.) The auditorium erupted into an thunderous show of support as Terrell's name was announced and continued as he crossed the stage of the Merrell Center.