Remembering Harley Fetterman and his love of the National Braille Challenge

Last year, Harley Fetterman came in second place in the National Braille Challenge.

Last year, Harley Fetterman came in second place in the National Braille Challenge.

Earlier this month I wrote about two local kids who had be competing in the National Braille Challenge since they were in elementary school. Both Harley Fetterman and Merlyn Hileman planned to compete for the last time this June after their high school graduations. When Harley couldn’t attend the competition because of complications from the two bone marrow transplants he received to fight his leukemia, Merlyn was able to go in his place.

On Sunday, Harley passed away after months of fighting complications from the transplants. Harley was well-known among the blind community in Austin and around the country. He was on the board of the student division of the Texas Association of Blind Students and active in the National Federation of the Blind.

When he couldn’t attend his high school graduation in June, kids from Bowie sent cards and letters to him in Houston, where hospitalized. The Bowie baseball team sent him an autographed ball.

Our thoughts are with Harley’s family, as well as with all of Harley’s friends, including Merlyn.

You can read our stories about Harley and Merlyn here:

Unexpected hurdle for Austin’s longtime Braille Challenge competitors

Area middle school students in national Braille contest