Teen soccer star defies rare disease to help lead his team to glory

For Connor Camacho, basketball was a lifelong passion that he played all the way through 6th and 7th grade. 

But in middle school, Camacho was diagnosed with a rare disease called acute flaccid myelitis, which affects the spinal cord. He lost movement in both of his arms, his neck and even had trouble breahting. After a few months, he began to regain some movement, but his right arm remained paralyzed due to the disease, forcing him off of the basketball court.

However, rather than quitting sports, Camacho took his talents from the hardwood to the soccer field, where he now plays center back for Rye High School’s team, the Garnets.

With a 21-1 record and ranked #1 in New York, Camacho’s persistence and relentless effort helped lead the team to their first Section championship in 40 years. 

Now, the Garnets will face the Jericho Jayhawks on Saturday on Saturday in the Class A boys soccer championship semifinal. If they win, they’ll move on to the state championship on Sunday.