LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Shocked and saddened relatives are remembering a teenager who died suddenly while on a school trip in Disney World over the weekend.
The family of 17-year-old Jeff Cintron was just weeks away from celebrating his graduation from Lackawanna High School, but now they're planning his funeral. Cintron mysteriously passed away while on a senior trip with his classmates. It's been very hard on his two brothers, Frank and Mark, and their cousin Tony Darmstedter, whom they have always had a tight bond.
"There's no words to describe it, it's unfathomable, it's a shock," Tony said.
Jeff's classmate created this tribute to him on YouTube:
Frank said, "They suspect it was Marfan's. We're still waiting on that. This is a disease that's not really diagnosed because they're typical things. I am sure every one of us has gone through growing pains when we were growing up and that's basically what Jeff had some of the signs, the fingers, toes, protruding spine."
Marfan syndrome is genetic disorder of the connective tissue and those who suffer from it typically have longer limbs. Jeff's brother says he had yearly physicals but it was never detected.
Jeff was at a park in Disney World when he began to have back pains. On the way to the hospital, he lost consciousness and never regained it. He was declared dead at the hospital.
His family says he was kind and got along with everyone.
"You could never get mad at him he always just had that smile," Tony said.
He also loved sports.
"Basketball, football, hockey. You name it, he played it," Frank said. "He loved Danny Brier. He was sad when we traded him. When we traded him he actually got a Danny Brier Philadelphia jersey."
Jeff was looking forward to graduating from Lackawanna High School and going to college. The flag outside his school now flies at half staff. At school, Jeff is remembered as a person who had friends from all walks of life.
"Every population of kid we have in this building, from blacks and whites and Hispanics, our Muslim population, everybody was represented, and everybody took turns telling stories and just sharing their memories," said English teacher Keri Chenfant.
High school principal Bruce Axelson added, "What Jeff could do is put a smile on your face, whether it was the students, or teachers, has really come out through this whole process, and that he was a real good kid."
Jeff's family is still waiting on autopsy results to confirm he died from Marfan syndrome. The wake for Jeff is from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Kaczor's Funeral Home in Lackawanna.
The funeral will be held at 9:15 a.m. Thursday at OLV Basilica in Lackawanna.
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