Pitt Co. Basketball Team Creates Website To Find Coach A Kidney Donor

By: April Davis/ Hilary Magacs
By: April Davis/ Hilary Magacs

A Pitt County basketball team recently surprised their coach with what could possibly be a life-changing website.

Coach William Knight almost passed on DH Conley freshman Olivia Dunn. She was cut from the girl's JV basketball team at the beginning of the year, but then he changed his mind:

"I invited her back to practice with the team to improve her game," said Knight

The team is now 16 and 3, and Dunn says every day is learning experience.

"He teaches us a life lesson - not just basketball - every single practice and he's so amazing and influential to all of us," said Dunn.

As inspiring as he is, Dunn and her teammates are worried about their coach, who's been battling chronic kidney disease since 2009 and is on the waiting list for a new kidney.

"We want him to get better soon so he'll be out here coaching us for a long time," said player Morgan Brown.

Knight says family members have offered him their kidneys, but says he'd like his donor to be anonymous.

"I don't want to know who my donor is because I'd hate to see something happen to that person later on down the road," said Knight

To help find that anonymous donor, Dunn and her teammates have taken things into their own hands, creating a website called kidneyforcoach.com where people can e-mail them advice about finding a kidney. The best part about it is Coach Knight had no idea about the website until Tuesday night.

"I'm really touched that she's doing something like this. I didn't know I had touched all these girls - touched her the way i did."

The site has already been a success. Two people have e-mailed the team so far:

"A restaurant that's going to open up in Washington called On the Waterfront is actually talking to us about hosting some way to test for blood and tissue to find a match for a kidney," said Brown.

Dunn says no one is more deserving of a kidney than Coach Knight. He gave her a second chance at making the team, and she's hoping he'll get a second chance at life.

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  • by Living Donor 101 Location: Ohio on Feb 14, 2012 at 06:58 PM
    Do any of these young ladies understand what they are asking someone to do? 4.4 living kidney donors die each yr in the US within 12 months of surgery. 20% experience complications. 20-30% suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Not a single transplant ctr offers aftercare or support. There are no national standards of living donor evaluation, selection or treatment. Each ctr makes up its own rules. There is NO data on LD health or well-being. In 2000, the Sec of Health mandated all transplant ctrs to report one yr follow-up on all LDs (2 yrs as of 2006) yet 30% are still reported lost, and OPTN's own data task force called the database 'woefully inadequate' and useless for research or analysis. 300 LKDs have been wait listed in need of their own kidney transplant since 1994. Reduced renal function means higher risk of hypertension, cardiac disease and death, and kidney disease and death. Most people in early stages of kidney disease (GFR <80) will never progress to kidney failure due to death from a cardiac event. The first kidney donor, Ron Herrick, had a stroke in 2002, was on dialysis the last decade of his life, and died following a cardiac procedure in 2010. His older siblings attended his funeral. www.livingdonor101.com
  • by Pauline Location: Raleigh on Feb 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM
    This speaks a lot of the girls' character, as well as Coach Knight's. This is really what life is all about. I believe that a match will be found soon! May God continue to bless you, Coach Knight!
  • by dbs on Feb 9, 2012 at 07:33 PM
    I have also known Olivia and Morgan at SPS. Wonderful girls and awesome parents too! Inspiring story, girls.
  • by Tee on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM
    I've known Morgan Brown and Olivia Dunn for many years and this is just the kind of thing that they would be involved in. They are wonderful St. Peter's girls!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM
    Love it! What a great bunch of girls! I will pray for a match for the coach. Mine aren't so great either.
  • by Melissa Location: greenville on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    I have just recently been approved as a living kidney donor and would be willing to speak with anyone who is interested in offering such help to another person. To begin with you need to contact the Donor Coordinator,Transplant Services for Pitt County, she is a lovely lady who will get you started on everything and hold your hand along the way.
  • by Vike Coach Location: Greenville on Feb 9, 2012 at 08:59 AM
    As a coach, I can truly say that there's is definetely something about the kids I coach that keep me coming back. It's not about how good they may be at the sport, or how many wins the team may have during the season. It's about seeing them grow...seeing them care about themselves and others...seeing them learn about life through sports. Coach Knight has clear done a great job in teaching these girls about the parallels of life and sports, and how love and caring for others is such a common denominator. I watched the segment last night, and to hear and see how much that WHOLE team means to each other....smh....it's truly incredible. May God continue to bless you Coach Knight. He's sent you a group of girl's whose lives you have changed forever. And the best part about it is that they are continuing to change your life too. Your work is not in vain. Keep fighting!! Go Vikes!!!
  • by Jack Jones Location: United States on Feb 9, 2012 at 08:27 AM
    I will be welling to be a donor.Just let me know ..What i did to do.E-mail me...
    • reply
      by jack jones on Feb 9, 2012 at 09:21 AM in reply to Jack Jones
  • by Debbie Location: Chocowinity on Feb 9, 2012 at 07:18 AM
    Now this is what love and caring is all about!!!!!
  • by christina buck Location: bath on Feb 9, 2012 at 06:31 AM
    What do have to do to see if u r a match. I'm very interested in know
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