BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The New England Patriots Tom Brady is known for his work on the field. But now, the Super Bowl quarterback has a new mission.
Monique Griego has more on how Brady is working with Johns Hopkins to save the life of his childhood mentor.
Brady’s mentor is in desperate need of a kidney transplant, and is currently in a program at Johns Hopkins. The quarterback has since made it his mission to find a donor.
As Brady prepares for the Super Bowl, the childhood mentor who helped get him there is fighting his own battle.
“He’s a special human being he’s just been a great friend,” Brady said of him.
Tom Martinez has been training Brady for more than 20 years. Now 68 years old, the coach is in need of a life-saving kidney transplant and he’s come to Johns Hopkins for help.
“He came out and he was evaluated by our whole team,” Dr. Robert Montgomery at Johns Hopkins Hospital said.
Montgomery says there’s a long list of people waiting for transplants.
“It’s reached a crisis point in terms of there not being enough donors available,” he said.
That’s where Brady’s star power comes in. Recently, the quarterback made a public plea for donors to come forward. He’s also posted a picture of Martinez on his Facebook page with a link to the website MatchingDonors.com.
“That focus, that attention on the problem on the crisis helps tremendously,” Montgomery said.
Out of the 80,000 people currently waiting for donors, only 20 percent will receive one this year. Thirty percent will die waiting.
Doctors say the attention Brady is bringing to the need for donors is invaluable.
“The plea could end up saving several other people, in addition to Tom Martinez,” Montgomery said.
So far, 300 people have come forward wanting to be Martinez’s donor. Montgomery says those who don’t match can donate to others.
“Greater awareness, and on a micro level, more transplants for these individuals,” he said.
Doctors say they’re currently screening possible donors for Martinez, and he could receive a transplant within the next few months.
The average person waits three to five years before a donor is found.