Palm Desert High School hosts swim-a-thon for late water polo player

Christian Fernandez Morales died in pool after becoming dehydrated, remembered at event

POSTED: 01:44 PM PDT Mar 11, 2013    UPDATED: 11:20 PM PST Mar 08, 2013 
WATER POLO MEMORIAL - CHRISTIAN MORALES
PALMD DESERT, Cali. -

 The bleachers surrounding the pool at Palm Desert High School were filled with students and supporters who came out to remember.
     And, even though it may have been a bit chilly, the cool air didn't stop anyone from jumping in the pool to support a cause that was very much in the spirit of Christian Fernandez Morales.
     Christian's sister Samantha tells us, "It's hard everyday you know, to get up and do things. But, this is you know a reminder that other people cared about him too and miss him."
     Family, friends, teammates and students all gathered to remember and celebrate the life of Christian Fernandez Morales.
     The 16 year old water polo player and swimmer's life was tragically cut short last June after he became dehydrated and passed out in the pool.
     His sister Samantha says, "Even though he's not here with us he's leaving his mark on other people. And, he's getting to do something great with others and we get to remember him today."
     The five hour swim-a-thon created to help raise money for a scholarship in his name, kicked off with a special lap swam by his mom and three sisters.
     His mother Blanca discusses that first lap, "It was amazing you know. I was trying not to embarrass Christian because he was always you know, I could do better so I went to the bump and grind trying to finish and doing that lap was saying mijo I'm right here, I'm always going to be here for him."
     His sisters continue to swim in Christians stead, carrying on his legacy and spirit doing something his mom says he was born to do.
     Blanca says, "I teach him how to swim in the bath tub. And then his first swimming pool was a plastic pool, and then when they finally got a real pool they were like fish in water so they always love water. I love water so, he always...in his last letter he said you know, it was like I was born to be in water."
     The Christian Fernandez Morales scholarship will be awarded to a male and female student each year, from either the water polo or swim team at Palm Desert High School.
     A council that includes Christian's mother will ultimately make the decision after reviewing the students essays and qualifications.
     For now, his friends and family are grateful for the event and to remember the time they had together.
     Blanca tells us, "I'm thankful to have the privilege to having such a wonderful son and to have such wonderful people and community that supports me and my family and keeps my son alive, through this events, through everything they do."
     If you  would like to donate to support the scholarship fund, you can go online to the Palm Desert High School sports boosters web page.