Connor Linville is a 16-year-old Mason County High School junior who runs varsity cross country track with a dream of receiving a division one scholarship and eventually running professionally.
But his latest dream doesn’t involve sports. Instead, it would mean a new kidney for the teenager.
In March, during Linville’s sophomore year, he became ill with a sinus infection. After recovering from the infection, he began running again, but started to notice issues while competing in meets.
“In April, he wasn’t able to complete one of the races,” Linville’s father, Chad Linville said. “We talked to the coach, who also noticed Connor was running slower.”
Chad Linville said he took his son to see his primary care physician, but everything seemed to check out.
“He started running again and one day, he said, ‘Dad, something isn’t right. I think I need to do back to the doctor,’” Chad Linville said.
During the visit, it was discovered that Connor Linville was showing signs of elevated kidney function. He was sent to Children’s Hospital and was eventually diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, according to Chad Linville.
“He was at 20 percent function and it was stage four,” he said.
According to Chad Linville, he was being prepared to become a donor for his son, but ran into a complication.
“They found that I have two arteries, so I can’t donate to him,” Chad Linville said. “Only about 13 percent of people have two arteries and I was unlucky enough to be one of them.”
Connor Linville is currently on peritoneal dialysis port.
“He’s currently not in school — until he has the port taken out,” Chad Linville said.
If anyone believes they could be a donor for Connor Linville, they can contact Marti Hudson at 513-636-6794 or Chad Linville at 606-375-2686.
“They’re trying to find him a donor pretty quick,” Chad Linville said. “If they’re a match, they’ll have to have blood work done and if that comes back alright, they’ll have a CT to check anatomy. Our insurance will cover everything, so there will be no expense to the donor.”
The donor would need to have a blood type of “A” or “O” in order to donate.
Chad Linville said his son has been positive throughout the whole ordeal.
“He’s been positive through everything. He has amazing faith and we all believe God is going to heal him,” Chad Linville said. “If he hadn’t been running track, we never would have known about anything. He never slowed down at home. He loves being outdoors, hunting and fishing. He always kept up during chores. We never dreamed of something like this happening, but he knows he’ll get through it.”
A benefit will be held on Oct. 12 at the Mason County High School School cafeteria, beginning at 6 p.m., to raise money and awareness for the family, according to MCHS Cross Country coach Mark Kachler.
“It’s a simple chili supper and silent auction,” he said. “It will be held before the football game that night and end around kickoff.”
Kachler said the illness has taken a toll on the athlete.
”During his sophomore year, he was one of the best male cross country runners in the state. It’s hard to believe that someone can be struck down that fast,” he said.