Sorensen, former Hawkeye wrestler, diagnosed with leukemia

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A four-time all-American wrestler for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia, according to athletics department officials.

Brandon Sorensen, top, wrestles in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 2, 2018 (Josh Christensen/KCRG)

Brandon Sorensen, who wrestled for Iowa between 2014 and 2018, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He was initially tested for the disease on Friday, November 29, 2019. Treatment began at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on Tuesday, December 3.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of cancer where the bone marrow produces an excess number of lymphocytes, according to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. It is more common in children but can affect adults. Prognosis and treatment of the disease is dependent on various factors.

“I am prepared to beat this disease, and there is no wait," Sorensen said, in a statement. "The challenge is right in front of me and I am all-in. I know I am not alone in this fight. I have the very best doctors, resources, and family you could possibly hope for, and I know that we will beat this cancer together. There is no choice. We will move forward with success."

Sorensen is a Cedar Falls-native and four-time Iowa champion high school wrestler for Denver High School. He was a finalist at the NCAA national championships in 2016. He graduated from Iowa in 2018 with a bachelor of science in sport and recreation promotion.

“Brandon Sorensen is not fighting this alone. I can guarantee everyone of that. We are with him lock-step, and by ‘we’ I mean this entire program, from his teammates and coaches to the alumni, fans, and administration," Tom Brands, Iowa head wrestling coach, said, in a statement. "Brandon is as solid of a person as you will ever meet; personally, professionally, athletically, and socially. He has never backed away from an opponent and he will not back down from this."

Sorensen has been a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, an organization that helps post-collegiate wrestlers train for world or Olympic championships, since his graduation.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help cover Sorensen's medical bills.


Brandon Sorensen (Courtesy: University of Iowa Athletics)