A chance for a normal hectic life

There are many students on campuses across America racing on lawns past classmates and professors to get to their next class on time. Most students juggle work, friends, family, and classes. Then, there is that soul brave enough to add sports and sports training to the mix.

Kevin Jordan, native of Columbus, Ga., and first-year outfielder for Wake Forest University, became ill in the beginning of 2010 despite undergoing dialysis three times a week. He began his first semester in August. Nevertheless, Jordan included this life-preserving procedure in a routine that many struggle through every day without even knowing what was causing his kidneys to function at only eight percent.

Doctors soon discovered that Jordan suffered from Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Autoantibody vasculitis, a rare condition in which abnormal antibodies attack white blood cells and damage small blood vessels. In kidneys, it causes leaking of blood and protein into the urine and, ultimately, kidney failure.

Doctors recommended a kidney transplant as soon as possible for Jordan. However, when his family was tested, no one was a match. I couldn’t imagine starting college having to face these obstacles in addition to the workload of a full-time student.

That is when Jordan’s coach, Tom Walter, stepped up to the plate. On Feb. 7, 2011, Walter underwent surgery to donate his kidney to Jordan.

“When we recruit our guys, we talk about family and making sacrifices for one another,” Walter said before the operation. “It is something we take very seriously. I had the support of my family, Wake Forest, and my team. To me it was a no-brainer,” Walter said, according to ESPN.

It will likely take both men several months to recover fully. However, Jordan is expected to swing a bat again in six to eight weeks.

I could only imagine the gratitude and admiration the Jordan family has for the huge opportunity Walter has given them. When the media overwhelms us with negativity and controversy concerning sports, it is delightful to hear when a team reacts to hardship with grace, stewardship, and community.

When Jordan’s father, Keith Jordan, researched Wake Forest and Coach Walter, he discovered Walter was no stranger to adversity. Coach Walter was a baseball coach for the University of New Orleans when Katrina devastated Louisiana.

“Walter supervised the players’ temporary relocation to the campus of New Mexico State,” Jordan said, according to The New York Times. “And he vowed to assist anyone weighing a transfer to another college (even though his own home was under 12 feet of water). A lot of coaches wouldn’t have done that.”

So, if you have a family member or a friend playing on a team, take the time and go to a game. You never know what it will mean to have you there supporting them. Teams are not just for fun or the love of a game; they are hard work and, as I have learned, they are like family.