MIDLAND - At two years old, Trevor Tredaway had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now at 9, he's had two brain surgeries, 9 types of chemo, and shot one commercial with comedy legend Robin Williams.
It was all part of St. Jude's "Thanks and Giving Campaign." The Midland boy had landed a winning audition and he and his family was flown out to San Francisco to shoot it. The commercial has the two sitting outside counting stars. Trevor is painted as a "space whiz" who has cancer and needs help to follow that dream. It's all touched up with some gags of course.
Melinda Trdaway said her son has never met a stranger, because he instantly befriends everybody. "And we all see Robin Williams on the media and on TV and his outgoing, fun, and hyper personality, and I just thought that if he was going to be paired with anybody, that's the person for him to be paired with," she explained.
What ensued was magic.
"However you think Robin Williams is, is exactly how he is," she explained.
Trevor had been rehearsing lines on set before the star arrived. Then, when the crew was told he was coming, a director instructed Trevor to hide. Eventually Trevor popped out at him, sending Williams to his feet in that iconic over the top dramatic way he has. "They were instant friends," Tredaway explained.
Trevor recounted his favorite parts to us on set. Describing a scene towards the end when Williams is still counting up at stars and Trevor jabs his side. Apparently Trevor did that improv. Tredaway said the audience frequently erupted with laughter and had to be silenced. But Trevor, he kept on, straight-faced during the space-themed commercial.
"Sitting back at the end when we were done he's like, 'black hole,' because there was (literally) a hole in the ceiling," Trevor said.
But it wasn't all clear skies. Trevor said although, it was mostly easy, they kept having to retake.
"Trevor threw the biggest fit in the history of fits that day and Robin Williams was just very compassionate and very understanding, and just very gracious to us and made us feel like we had known him for years," Tredaway said.
And that's what made it so much worse when they learned he was found dead Monday. She said she explained it to Trevor, without going into details about because he wouldn't be able to understand it. "I just informed him that he passed away and had gone on to heaven," she explained.
Tredaway said she'll tell her son about it one day, but for now they'll cherish the memories.
"Going through cancer and chemo and brain surgeries and then having the opportunity to meet somebody like Robin Williams and talk with him, it's just a once in a lifetime experience," she said.
And if she could have been there with Williams just one more time, she wishes she could pass along a message.
"I would want him to know how much joy he brought people and that he was loved more than he ever knew," she said.