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Lathrop teen battling brain tumor
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Lathrop High athlete Keanu Linnell is battling aggressive brain tumor. - photo by Photo Contributed

Lathrop High teen Keannu Linnell is battling a malignant brain tumor.
The 15-year-old is fighting for his life in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  He is a football quarterback and wrestler with a 3.5 GPA and an active volunteer in his community.
An account has been set up to help his family cover medical expenses through  
 Many of his friends have been leaving caring messages for him on line for his recovery noting their love and support.
Linnell was admitted Saturday, Dec, 3, to the hospital where a CT scan showed a mass in the center of his brain.  The next day he underwent an MRI which confirmed that the mass was the size of a ping pong ball.  The teen was diagnosed with the aggressive tumor in his pineal gland. It was also found that the tumor was creating a blockage of the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) and the pressure from the blockage needed to be released.
The following Tuesday Keannu underwent a procedure that would release the pressure in his brain caused by the fluid backup; however the tumor was reportedly bleeding into the brain.  As of Wednesday, Dec. 7, some 24 hours after the surgery, he had not awakened, and his neurologist explained to the family he was getting insufficient blood flow to his brain causing his unconscious state.
That evening the neurologist visited Linnell and called out commands that he said might initiate movement from him. Linnell responded to the doctor and stretched out his arm with the neurologist saying, “This is good but we want to see a thumbs up.”  At that point Linnell raised his hand and gave a thumbs up prompting tears and cheers from family members and the medical staff.
“We knew that Keannu was fighting and could hear us,” his sister Samantha Johnson added.
On Thursday it was reported that phlegm in his lungs was causing pressure on his brain and a CT scan and x-ray subsequently showed that a tube that had been inserted to drain the excess fluid had become clogged and a new one was inserted.  During that procedure it was decided to paralyze him to prevent any further muscle movements that might cause injury to the brain.  He was placed on 100 percent oxygen support.
The family reported that on Sunday morning a catheter was inserted by the medical staff to provide for long term intravenous antibiotics and for nutrition and medications as well as for blood draws. They also noted his oxygen dependence had improved down to 50 percent.
His sister Samantha Johnson said: “Thank you for your prayers!  My sister said it best, ‘prayers are worth so much more!’  Thank you again for keeping us in your prayers. God bless!”
To make a donation to help Linnell, go to the fundraiser on line. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email