In loving memory of Kahmario Coleman

Freshman Kahmario Coleman. Coleman passed away in December with his family by his side.

Freshman Kahmario Coleman spent his afternoons and freetime on the basketball court shooting hoops with friends or hanging out with his family. He would spend hours on the phone with his cousin Sa’Nyah Marie, driving his mom slightly crazy.

On Dec. 29, 2022 Kahmario passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones and family.

Kahmario Coleman was a lover of sports, rap, his friends and especially his family. He was fiercely protective of them and would never let anyone or anything get in the way of the people and the things he loved.   

Kahmario was born on May 31, 2008. He was a rambunctious and strong-willed kid that grew up with that same attitude in his heart. 

“The word we used to describe him was ornery,” Kahmario’s mom Tiara Waters said. “He was energetic and had a strong personality.” 

He was lively and would sometimes get into things he should not, but at the end of the day Waters would just laugh about it. He was known for being a class clown and would always make the people around him laugh, making them feel happy no matter what the situation was or how he was feeling inside. 

Kahmario could have a hard exterior around people who he was not close with but on the inside, Kahmario was a sweet and witty kid who just wanted to see the people around him smile.

“We would call him a sour patch kid, he was sweet on the inside,” Waters said. 

In March of 2022, Kahmario was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that targets soft tissues such as muscle and cartilage. But with his stubborn and strong heart, he never let his cancer stand in his way. 

“He kept doing things,” freshman Kendrick Milner said. “He didn’t let his cancer hold him back.”

Kahmario and Milner met in 8th grade gym class where the two often played basketball. 

Milner did not find out about Kahmario’s condition until the end of 8th grade. It came as a surprise to him because Kahmario never showed any sign of pain and continued to do all the things he loved no matter what.

“He was always there and would make you feel safe,” Milner said. 

No matter what Kahmario was going through, he would always do his best to support his friends through his witty humor or caring personality. 

He always looked on the bright side of life, trying to find the silver lining in all situations. It was instinctual for him to see the positivity in people and the world around him and he tended to greet most days with a smile.

“Kahmario had a smile that could light up a room. If you had a relationship with him he would do his hardest to please you,” freshman teacher Drew Shreve said. “His smile is what made him unique, it was infectious.”

Just like Shreve, most people who knew Kahmario met him before freshman year. One of these people, freshman John Mitchell , was a neighborhood friend. He and Kahmario would talk about life and play around after school, throwing a football or basketball. 

In 8th grade on Valentine’s Day, Mitchell had a friend that he was too nervous to talk to, so like the supportive friend he is, Kahmario swooped in and became the Valentine’s Day wingman Mitchell needed.

“He’d check up on me and ask to hang out,” Mitchell said. “He would hang out with me when no one else would.”

Kahmario was always there for those who needed him. Even when his battle with cancer was becoming too much. Kahmario did everything he could to keep his family and friends around him calm.  

He had many hopes and dreams about the life ahead of him, he was a curious person and always researching things he did not know. Kahmario dreamed of becoming a rapper, a professional basketball player or even a realtor. 

“He wanted to get into real estate,” Waters said. “He would look into property values, he really got into it.” 

Kahmario would always talk about what he wanted to do when he grew up, like his cancer had no control over him. His optimism helped his family cope with his cancer.

“I was just sad,” Kahmario’s twin sister Kahliyah Coleman said. “Kahmario would just make me happy.”

Sa’Nyah Marie, did not believe that his cancer had come back at first, it was hard for her to accept.

“He called me and told me he had cancer, I thought he was just playing because he said he just got arm surgery,” Marie said. “And when I was crying he said I was such a big baby, he never wanted people to feel bad for him.”

Marie and Kahmario were very close all through his life. Waters described the pair being as close as siblings rather than just cousins.

“That was my bestie,” Marie said. “Out of all my whole family, if I ever needed somebody I’d call him.”

Kahmario was a strong individual and his positivity was infectious. He was a natural born leader and many people around him were inspired by his courage and bravery.

“He made such a huge impact in the short amount of time he was here,” Waters said.

Kahmario was a kind and amazing soul that will forever live on in the hearts of his loved ones and the people he touched.

Kahmario leaves behind his mother and father, Tiara Waters and Jermaine Coleman, his twin sister Kahliyah Coleman, sisters, Kamari McCleskey and Audre’una Coleman, brother, Kahlil Coleman, grandparents, Mark Waters, Tracey Johnson, John and Mary Coleman, great grandparents Tim and Selena Peterson, Adren and Sandra Bradley, James Waters, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends.