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Minnesota student athlete battling rare disease

/ 02:04 AM June 18, 2018

This photo aken Aug. 31, 2017, shows Byron quarterback Mike Coble (3) being greeted by fans while taking the field before a Southeast District game against Triton in Byron, Minn. (Joe Ahlquist/The Rochester Post-Bulletin via AP)

BYRON, Minn. — A student athlete in three sports at a southeastern Minnesota high school is fighting a rare disease that causes his body’s immune system to attack the nervous system.

Byron High School senior Mike Coble was been diagnosed this month with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which affects only about 1 in 100,000 people, the Post Bulletin reported.

Coble has experienced numbness in his hands, feet and face, as well as a severe rash. He had to be hospitalized at Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Mary’s because the symptoms got so severe.

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Friend and teammate Kaden Koski said Coble was experiencing breathing problems at one point, but he’s now more responsive. Coble can understand what people say, nodding or squeezing their hands in response, Koski said.

There’s no cure for the disease, but most people recover, according to the Mayo Clinic. The recovery period will likely be long, Coble’s friends said.

“That’s the hardest part, knowing that it’ll get worse before it gets better,” said Bjorn Knutson, one of Coble’s friends. “With there being no cure, it’s pretty much a time game.”

Coble’s friends, teammates and coaches have started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help cover his medical expenses. The group hopes to raise at least $20,000.

“We want money to be the last worry,” Knutson said. “The community has really come together, not even just here but throughout the state.”

Coble participates in football, basketball and track. He was slated to play football for Minnesota State University in the fall, but those plans have been put on hold.

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