University of Idaho football player dies several weeks after cancer diagnosis

University of Idaho

University of Idaho football player Collin Sather died Tuesday — about a month after he was diagnosed with advanced renal cancer, the school announced.

Sather reported stomach pains Jan. 17 and was taken to the hospital Jan. 21, according to the school. Renal cancer attacks the kidneys.

“Despite several weeks of dialysis and chemotherapy, the cancer spread to his lungs and neck,” the school said in a release.

“Collin was a tremendous young man and a great teammate,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said in the press release. “It is a testament to him to see how many of our players cared so deeply about him and how many lives he touched in the Vandal family in such a short time. We challenge our players to be tough and always choose character. Nobody did a better job of that than Collin. My time with him made me a better person and I know his teammates feel the same way.”

Sather, a Spokane native, turned 19 on Sunday surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane. A GoFundMe campaign was started Feb. 16 to help with Sather’s medical expenses, and nearly $10,000 was raised on his birthday alone. As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 250 people had made donations to the fund totaling almost $19,000.

A multi-sport standout in high school, Sather earned first-team All-Great Northern League recognition in football and basketball at West Valley High School. He was a high school teammate of fellow Vandal football players Tevin Duke and Connor Whitney. The 2018 graduate redshirted this past season for the Vandals at wide receiver.

“On behalf of the Vandal family, our deepest condolences go out to Collin’s family and loved ones,” Idaho Interim Director of Athletics Pete Isakson said in the press release. “Collin made a profound impact on the lives of those he touched throughout our department and across the campus community. The loss of a 19-year-old is difficult to comprehend, and we are here for anybody who needs help during this challenging time.”

The University of Idaho has counseling and support services available for students, faculty and staff impacted by Sather’s loss. Call 208-885-6716 for assistance.