Life Matters: Kauai’s Julian honored with farewell to No. 64

Simply one of a kind.

Ask family, friends, teammates, and coaches about Michael Julian, and you’ll get endless stories about his kindness and intellect.

He packed a full life into his 27 years.

The 2008 Kauai High School graduate was a class valedictorian and lineman on the football team.

He went on to graduate from Northern Arizona University with a degree in biology and minor in chemistry, looking to eventually become a doctor.

He moved back home to study for the MCAT while spending his time fishing, golfing and working out.

“He spent a few summers studying native plants, trying to just looking at their medicinal properties. Like my mom said, he wanted to find a cure for cancer,” said Julian’s brother, Dustin Julian.

Tragically, Julian passed away in June from what’s believed to be a food allergy.

“That feeling’s indescribable. It’s just something you can never ever prepare for. It was just a shock to everyone,” said Dustin Julian.

“I think I’m still in denial about all of this. You wouldn’t think it would happen to him, an allergic reaction. You wouldn’t think this would happen to somebody like him,” said Jamilee Jimenez.

Still devastated by the loss, Jimenez approached athletics director Kelii Morgado and head football coach Derek Borrero about retiring his jersey number 64.

Overwhelming approval led to Julian’s retirement ceremony on Oct. 21 in the Red Raiders’ win over Kapaa.

It’s the first number retired in program history.

“Everything was 64,” Jimenez explained. “That was his favorite number, and I think it was because he had so many good memories on the football team and with this number.”

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