8th grader dies from malaria after visiting home country, officials say

An 8th grade student in Cedar Rapids has died of malaria, the Metro Youth Football Association announced Sunday.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 4:01 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG/Gray News) - An 8th grade student in Iowa has died from malaria, officials said on Sunday.

The Metro Youth Football Association in Cedar Rapids said 14-year-old Shawn Nupolu fell ill after recently visiting his home country of Liberia.

In a fundraiser post on its website, the association said Shawn had moved to the U.S. with his family and was a student at Roosevelt Middle School planning on attending Jefferson High School.

When he recently became ill, he was taken to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. Doctors diagnosed him with malaria, and he later died.

“Shawn was a talented multi-sport athlete with a particular passion for soccer and football,” the association wrote in the post on its website. “He earned the nickname ‘cheetah’ because he was always the fastest kid on the field.”

The association is asking for donations to support Shawn’s family. Information can be found here.