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Originally posted February 22, 2012
Former Union wrestler Ronnie Balfour dies of leukemia
BY KELLY HINES Tulsa World Sports Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
Former Union champion wrestler Ronnie Balfour lost a year-long battle with leukemia Tuesday morning.
Balfour, who turned 20 on Sunday, recently took a turn for the worse, said his high school coach, Kevin Crutchmer. He had been placed on life support at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he died.
"Ronnie was a warrior," Crutchmer said. "That showed in his fight and his illness."
Balfour won an individual state title as a senior in 2010 while compiling a 42-1 record. He signed with Oklahoma but left after a semester. Soon after, doctors discovered he had acute myelogenous leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The community rallied around him and his family, setting up blood drives and donating money to help with expenses.
"He's going to be missed by multiple amounts of people because of his capability of being able to touch people at different levels and make their day even better," Crutchmer said. "He will be missed by the Union wrestling family."
Donations to help the Balfour family pay for medical bills can be sent to:
OU Athletics Development; McClendon Center for Intercollegiate Athletics 180 W. Brooks St. Norman, OK 73019.
Checks can be made out to "OU Foundation" with Ronnie Balfour's name listed in the memo line. For more information, call 405-325-8215.