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'We know he'd be there for us' | Highland rallies for high school coach fighting COVID-19, needs kidney transplant

Highland High School head coach Deryl Cunningham tested positive for COVID-19 in early October, but that was just the beginning of his fight

HIGHLAND, Ill. — A local high school basketball coach is currently in a fight against an opponent tougher than any he's seen on the hardwood.

Highland High School head coach Deryl Cunningham tested positive for COVID-19 in early October, but that was just the beginning of his fight.

COVID-19 brought into play other underlying health conditions, and Cunningham was hospitalized with kidney failure. He has been undergoing dialysis and was placed on the emergency kidney transplant list.

To help with the medical bills, his Highland team and community have stepped up to give whatever they can.

"We have a GoFundMe account that's about $25,000 or more and the original goal was only $10,000," Highland senior basketball player Evan Peterson said. "We've sent gift cards, flowers and other stuff to his family. We just kind of keep in touch with them whenever they need us because we know he'd be there for us."

As of Friday, Oct. 16, that GoFundMe is up to more than $29,000.

An update was also posted on the original GoFundMe page on Friday, saying that Cunningham has been allowed to return home, but is still undergoing dialysis three hours a day, three days a week until he's able to have kidney transplant surgery.

You can find a link to the GoFundMe by clicking here.

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