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MU's Tori McCoy begins junior season on dialysis, waiting for a kidney

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Marquette women's basketball team season opener Tuesday was supposed to be junior transfer Tori McCoy's first game as a Golden Eagle but life had other plans.

For the first time, McCoy spoke with CBS 58 about her diagnosis and treatment for a rare kidney disease.

McCoy couldn't spend the offseason working on her jumper or post moves, instead, she spent 3.5 hours a day, three days a week on kidney dialysis.

"It's a struggle." she said before practice last week.

Last winter, she was getting sick during practice and neither she nor her trainers could figure out why. She went in for some testing.

It was supposed to be the first game with m-u for junior transfer Tori McCoy, but life had other plans.

For the first time, Tori McCoy was ready to talk about her experience so far.

A year ago she was getting sick during practice, and neither she nor her trainers could figure out why.

"We did a test and they were just like 'oh, your kidneys are dead.' she said. "And I was just like...whoa."

McCoy was diagnosed with FSGS (Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis). She had no family history. The only cure is a new kidney. She's on the national donor wait list but that could take years. Until she gets a new kidney, she cannot play college basketball.

"Heartbreaking." said head coach Carolyn Kieger. "Here's a kid who's at the top of her game. A McDonald's All-American. One of the best players in the country."

Kieger found a way to keep McCoy involved with the team.

"Coach Keigs actually thought it was a great idea to be one of the coaches." said McCoy.

"She puts a whistle on her neck right now, she jumps in drills, she's a dummy defender." Kieger said. "She started to workout again in our weightroom. I just see a smile on her face when she comes in and has basketball as a part of her life."

For a long time, McCoy wouldn't talk about her FSGS.

"I didn't want any of this to get out because I didn't like people just asking me questions. But I think it's important." she said.

Important because she wants other people to know they aren't alone but also because her best chance at transplant (and at playing again) is to find a live donor to give her one of their kidneys.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping, contact the living donor coordinator at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center at 414-646-0584. Or visit Tori's GoFund Me page.

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