Last year, University of California-Berkeley middle blocker Savannah Rennie received a liver transplant. She was diagnosed in 2015 with Congenital Hepatic Fibrosis with Portal Hypertension, a rare, life-threatening disease that took Rennie from the court to a hospital room. After missing what would have been her freshman season, Rennie saw limited playing time in the 2016 season for Cal as a redshirt freshman. Each moment she had on the court, especially her first collegiate kill against Utah, were special.
Things seemed to be looking up for the young player, a graduate of Torrey Pines High School and WAVE volleyball in Southern California. Before her surgery, the 6-2 middle had been unstoppable, both in prowess and competitiveness. Rennie returned to practice with the Bears just four months after her transplant, and made it onto the court to swing away later into the 2016 season. However, on July 13th, Cal volleyball released a tweet:
SAVANNAH UPDATE: Savannah has had a complication from her transplant. Her family requests privacy at this time. #SavStrong pic.twitter.com/mHD1xwOo3q
— Cal Volleyball (@CalVolleyball) July 13, 2017
After over a year post-transplant, the twitter hashtag #SavStrong was trending again. Players from all across the country tweeted prayers and best wishes to Rennie, including Minnesota first team All-American setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Ohio State star middle Taylor Sandbothe.
Please say some prayers for this wonderful girl. #SavStrong https://t.co/bSILyHOcpi
— Samantha Swenson (@samjoswens) July 14, 2017
Volleyball world is thinking about you!! ???? Stay #SavStrong !! https://t.co/ravXwPM9qC
— Taylor Sandbothe (@tay_sand) July 14, 2017
Savannah is unfortunately yet again fighting her own body. Recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Post-Transplant Lymphoma, Rennie is undergoing treatment while attending a limited amount of team activities. Fortunately, her disease is a treatable one, and her family, friends, and teammates are all thankful.
“I am very thankful that Savannah is getting such good care,” head coach Matt McShane told Cal athletics. “All of us in the Cal family are glad that we get to see her regularly these days. We can all tell that Savannah being around her friends is comforting to her. We all wish her a speedy recovery.”