CANTON, Mass. — March isn’t only about March Madness, it’s also National Kidney Month. Right now, there are 90-thousand people in the United States on the National Transplant Waiting List for a donor kidney, according to OrganDonor.gov. A little boy in Connecticut is in desperate need of a new kidney and he’s getting help from greatest quarterback ever.
Tom Martinez was Tom Brady’s personal quarterback coach and mentored him in California before his famous protégé became a superstar. “He taught Tommy how to throw when he was just in high school and that relationship just carried on,” said Martinez’s daughter, Linda Haley.
In 2009, Martinez needed a kidney transplant. He was diabetic and on dialysis. Linda says Brady made a post on social media urging people to test to see if they were a match for her father. “Then his good student, Tom Brady, put on his Facebook page his coach needed a kidney and over 100 people came forward,” Haley said.
Martinez was matched with a donor, but, sadly, he died of a massive heart attack just days before his lifesaving surgery. Shortly after his passing, Martinez’s family established the Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund through Canton-based MatchingDonors.com, which matches living organ donors with transplant patients. Linda says Brady has been a huge supporter and even honored her father by auctioning off game-worn custom cleats to raise money for the Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund. The charity assists families financially who are undergoing transplants, like 4-year-old Alex Varying. Alex was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease when he was two-years-old. Since then, Alex has had two surgeries removing both of his kidneys and he receives dialysis three days a week. “He can’t go to school those days because he’s so tired afterwards. So I think a lot of it is getting Alex a kidney so he can go back to being a normal 4-year-old again and be able to go to kindergarten next year,” said Alex’s mother, Kayla Varying.
If a donor is found for Alex, the MatchingDonors.com Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund will pay for the transplant, plus the donors food, lodging, and transportation to and from surgery from anywhere in the United States. The fund will also pay the donors lost wages, so nothing out of pocket.
If you are interested in donating contact Organ Donor, Organ Transplant, Organ Donor Services, | Matching Donors.
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