The jump from freshman to sophomore year can be huge and really show how great a runner can be. Ocean Lakes' Will Spollen definitely exemplified the type of huge progress that can take place. In just a year's time Will improved his XC personal best from 17:30 to 16:03.
The times are impressive but what was most important to Will was his part on the young Ocean Lakes team. Their team has an entire returning top four and also return six of their top seven. Will led the team this year and was integral to their team success.
After a sixth place finish at the Conference 1 race, Will went to see the doctor and eventually the cardiologist. Though they were unable to diagnose him immediately, the doctors quickly pulled him out of further athletic competition. This unfortunately meant Ocean Lakes was without their fastest XC runner. This made them drop from the 6A South favorite to a fourth place finish.
Will though was then, and probably now is still, more upset about not being able to run with his teammates than his own health concerns. That is how big of a team player Will is.
After numerous visits to specialist after specialist it was discovered that he has an arrhythmia and a condition called catechominergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. This condition is most commonly found in children and young adults 12-20 years old. It is thought to affect as many as one in every 10,000 people.
Though there is no specific cure for this ailment, there are numerous things an individual can do to ensure a healthy lifestyle, and in Will's case, one filled with lots of running.
The first and most important thing is staying on top of his health and knowing his limits. The second thing is having the correct supplies at his house and with him in case of something bad happening. That more specifically means having a personal AED (automated external defibrillator).
The solution and supplies might be simple but the way to afford one is anything but that. Having a standard, of decent quality, personal AED can cost upwards of $1,600 dollars. Having multiple ones is even more expensive.
Being the never give up type of person, Will has started a GoFundMe page to raise $1,500 and in just a day had raised $1,570 from 12 donations. His statement from his GoFundMe page and a link to it are below.