Zac Cronkhite, a 2015 graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University, was recently diagnosed with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), a genetic condition that causes tumors in up to ten areas of the body such as the brain, kidneys, eyes, and spine.
During his time at Iowa Wesleyan, Cronkhite was the epitome of what it means to be an NCAA Division III student-athlete. He was a four-year member of the men’s golf team, competing from 2013-2016. Zac worked just as hard in the classroom as he did on the golf course. He was a two-time USCAA Academic All-American. Outside of athletics, Cronkhite served as a resident advisor and student body president.
It is estimated that nearly 200,000 or one in every 36,000 people have VHL. With no primary symptom of the disease, the appearance and severity of VHL is widely variable. For individuals with Von Hippel-Lindau, there is a 40 percent chance of kidney cancer.
Cronkhite was first diagnosed with tumors on his spine, brain, eyes, and kidneys last summer. His first of many surgeries to remove the tumors took place earlier this month. Zac and his family are seeking medical care at the University of Michigan, one of ten centers in the country that specialize in VHL treatment and research.
Iowa Wesleyan University will hold fundraising drives for Zac and his family during the remainder of the home basketball games this season. The family has requested that all money raised be sent to VHL Alliance, a leading funder of VHL research with over $1.7 million granted to support studies designed to find a cure.
Donations can be made at https://www.vhl.org/module/
For more information on VHL, please visit https://www.vhl.org/patients/
Tiger Athletics: Iowa Wesleyan University strives to provide its student-athletes the opportunity to be successful in life and sports. Engaged in the SLIAC and UMAC Conferences, Tiger athletics is a proud member of NCAA Division III.
STORY COURTESY OF IOWA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION