A member of the Marquette University women’s basketball team is in need of a kidney transplant, and she is trying to raise awareness about organ donation at the same time.
The basketball team tweeted a letter written by Tori McCoy, explaining she was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) six months ago.
FSGS causes scarring in the kidneys. She has been undergoing four-hour dialysis treatments every week.
In the emotional letter, McCoy says her doctors have decided her best shot and long-term health is a kidney transplant from a living donor.
Read her full letter here:
“I am currently on the transplant list, but finding a living donor is the best option and would answer my prayers,” McCoy wrote in the letter. “Because I am so young a live kidney donation would dramatically increase my long-term survival and allow me to resume a schedule more typical for a college student and young adult.”
The director of transplant services at Aurora St. Luke’s Dr. Ajay Sahajpal said the hospital does about 40 kidney transplants a year, about 30 percent from living donors.
“Definitely we try to encourage younger patients to get living donors because really you want that kidney to last for their lifetime and living donors statistically have a better chance to do that,” said Sahajpal.
McCoy has the support of her team around her as she continues her search for a donor.
“Tori is one of the best post players in the entire country so seeing her go through this has been very hard I think for our team, the coaching staff, it's been sad,” said head coach Carolyn Kieger.
Even with the treatments, Keiger says McCoy remains focused on her future.
“She's been taking classes, going to the dialysis clinic. She's been here all summer. She’s been doing her studies, her homework, her study hall sometimes even at dialysis,” Kieger said.
McCoy stated in her letter she also hopes to raise awareness for organ donation at-large.
“Anyone interested in donating can reach out to my transplant clinic and there are no geographical restrictions for donors,” she wrote. “The outpouring of support from everyone has been an inspiration to me and certainly helps on the more difficult days.”
Anyone interested in becoming a donor can call 414-646-0584. A GoFundMe page has been set up for McCoy as well to help cover medical costs.