Brandon Rock, the last male Olympian to compete for the Wolf Pack in college, is in need of financial help as he fights to get a second kidney transplant.
Rock, who was born in Chambersburg, Penn., and raised in Las Vegas, ran for Nevada after a stint at Taft (Calif.) College. He was an All-American for Nevada in the 800 meters in 1994 before the Wolf Pack men's track and field program was shuttered as the school fought to get intoTitle IX compliance.
Rock transferred to Arkansas where he won the 1995 NCAA outdoor title in the 800 meters in Sacramento with a time of 1 minute, 46.37 seconds.
He finished first at the U.S. nationals that season and ninth in the world in that same event. He finished second at nationals in the 800 in 1996 and third in 1997. Rock's crowning achievement was qualifying for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he ran a time of 1:48.47, which ranked 39th out of 57 runners.
Rock placed fifth in the 800 meters at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden with a time of 1:46.42. Rock's fastest 800 meters was 1:44.64 in the 1996 U.S. Olympic trials, which earned him the silver medal.
During his athletic career, Rock struggled with his health as his kidney was only functioning at 20 percent when he qualified for the Olympics. In 2008, he received a kidney transplant. That kidney recently began to fail, which led to him being hospitalized. The 48-year-old is in need of a second kidney transplant, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help him with bills, which includes dialysis three times a week.
"He has a few people running personal tests now to see if one of them will be a good match for a kidney transplant again," the GoFundMe page said. "It's imperative he finds the right match sooner than later! Brandon really needs help financially to continue the fight as he is on disability and cannot work due to his health issues. The monthly check is not enough to cover most of his basic needs. Your donations will help Brandon buy a more reliable, used car for transportation to and from dialysis three times a week and to make trips out of town (Little Rock, St. Louis etc. .,.) for many very important doctor visits, keep up with current household bills, pay past-due bills and continue to be there for his children.
"Back in 2020, as some may know, he was also forced to move out of his rental house due to a fire that damaged most of his personal belongings. Due to that fire, Brandon lived in an extended stay hotel for over six months in 2020 to gather up enough funds to pay for that, and to finally recently move into another place with his son. Any donations would be appreciated!"
As Rock told a local television station in Arkansas: "I have good days, bad days but life is what it is. I just gotta make the best of it. I’ve lived a good life. Hopefully, I’ve got more years to live."