Coosa High’s Fernando Guzman passes away after relentless battle with cancer. Short update on services.

Coosa High’s Fernando Guzman passes away after relentless battle with cancer. Short update on services.

File photo: Chris Parker presents Fernando Guzman with a trophy as his classmates cheer. Below: Todd Wheeler, head coach of the Coosa football team makes a save in goal for the teachers during the overtime shootout. It was part of the second annual Fernando Cup pitting students vs. faculty at Coosa High.  Floyd Schools’ photos.


Fernando Guzman Ambriz, 18, of Rome, died Sunday afternoon, January 7, 2018, following an extended illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Parnick Jennings Sr.’s Good Shepherd Funeral Home.

The story of Fernando Guzman’s determination to beat cancer captured the hearts of not only Coosa High School but Northwest Georgia.
He had been through so much already and then cancer began taking its toll. But each time, he’d fight back and he’d be joined by classmates, teachers and community members along the way.
But that battled ended Sunday afternoon. Word quickly spread among the education and Coosa community.  Perhaps most appropriate was this comment on the Coosa Eagle Football Twitter account:

“Fernando just passed away. Thank you for making that kid’s dream come true. @TheRock.”

Actor Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock and currently starring in Jumanji, took time in March 2016 to visit with lifelong fan Fernandorockfernando

Fernando’s battles and subsequent rallies didn’t go unnoticed.

Last February, he was among the high school students honored by The Exchange Club of Rome, having been selected as one of six students honored with the annual A.C.E. That stands for Accepting The Challenge of Excellence and it is an award of the National Exchange Club that honors high school graduating seniors who have overcome adversity and excelled in their school and community activities.

At the time, Fernando already had fought three battles with cancer that had taken one leg, one arm and a portion of one lung and he had been diagnosed with cancer in his other lung.

“This has not deterred him in his desire to finish his education with high grades and continue forward reaching out to children with disabilities to show them that giving up is not an option. He plans to continue his education, go into counseling, and with his love of sports work with students in that field, too,” according to the Exchange Club release.

Reaction from Floyd County School Board member Jay Shell, who’s district includes Coosa:

“Hated to hear the passing of our friend Fernando this afternoon. Fernando overcame adversity after adversity and always did it with a smile. He was truly an inspiration to me and to all who knew him. Rest easy, Fernando. You’ll be missed.”

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