Golden Eagles basketball player raising awareness for organ donation while battling rare kidney disease
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- When Tori McCoy transferred from Ohio State to Marquette, the former McDonald's All-American wanted to lead the Golden Eagles to new heights. But right as the season was starting, her life was turned upside down.
"It's something you can't prepare for," said Carolyn Kieger, Marquette Head Coach.
Tori was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease in December. Like that, four hours of practicing became four hours at the dialysis clinic three times a week. Through it all, Tori stayed in school and on the team.
"If she's not in treatment or at home resting, she's here. Sometimes she would even come at halftime after finishing a treatment. She wouldn't be on the bench then at halftime, you hear her barking at the team. You chuckle, you smile, it's put things into perspective for our team," said Kieger.
Tori's teammates do their part too. They've taken her to dialysis treatments, given her a distraction, and Kieger says they've been there every step of the way.
"It has taught me as a coach how important family is. To see our team rally around her and to see Tori rally around them, it's just not about a round ball or a sport. It's about making each other better," Kieger said.
A kidney transplant is Tori's best chance at a full recovery by far.
"I think of these people as heroes because they are undergoing surgery and giving away a piece of themselves to try to benefit someone else," said Dr. Ajay Sahajpal with Aurora Health Care.
Doctor Sahajpal says that if Tori gets a transplant, it could lead to a full recovery although the kidney disease could recur.
Tori didn't want to talk on camera for this story but she did write a letter on social media trying to raise awareness for organ donation.
She'll be traveling with the team this year, starting with their upcoming trip to Australia.