Celebrated in April each year, National Donate Life Month is an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of organ donation. As always, Tom Brady is doing his part to save the lives of people needing organ transplants through MatchingDonors.com.
As he increases the number of Super Bowl rings on his fingers, Tom Brady has also been increasing the number of lives he has saved through his work with The Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund through the online organ-matching website MatchingDonors.com. The award winning non-profit organization, based just a short drive from Gillette Stadium in Canton, MA, has become the most successful nonprofit organization that is finding living altruistic for patients needing lifesaving organ transplants. In 2004, MatchingDonors.com became the first organization to facilitate organ transplant through the Internet.
Tom Brady’s involvement with MatchingDonors.com began in 2009 when his long-term quarterback coach Tom Martinez joined MatchingDonors.com in need of a kidney of his own. Martinez has coached the New England quarterback since he was a young boy living in California. So, it is no surprise that Brady jumped into action as soon as his mentor’s health began declining. He started a media campaign to urge people to sign on to MatchingDonors.com and test to see if they were a match for Martinez. Within weeks, over 600 people had signed up to test their donation potential. Many were tested until one donor made it through the entire process. The transplant date was set and everyone was eagerly waiting. Then, a few days before his lifesaving kidney transplant, in February 2012 Tom Martinez unexpectedly passed away from a massive heart attack during a routine dialysis treatment – on his 66th birthday.
His daughter, Linda Martinez, spoke about her father’s commitment to save lives, “Three weeks before his untimely death he created the ‘Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund’ for MatchingDonors.com to help underprivileged people needing transplants to find living altruistic donors…My Father’s fund has already helped save hundreds of people in need of a kidney/organ transplant, but more can be done.” When Tom created the Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund, he said to his daughter Linda, “I’m thrilled that even if I can’t be saved at least the donors and awareness we brought to MatchingDonors.com will save many other lives.”
Since then, Tom Brady has honored Tom’s Martinez’s memory and passion by continuously offering support to MatchingDonors.com. He has also promoted them in the news and the radio, saying, “MatchingDonors worked very hard to try to help Tom out… This is creating awareness for the issues that people have that are looking for donors and can’t find them, or the stigma attached to people that actually give organs, a lot of people just don’t really have the right information…. Like I said, we worked pretty hard to help Tom and unfortunately, the time ran out….I’m glad some other people really got some help, and like I said MatchingDonors, they’ve been involved in a lot of those cases over the years and they’re a great organization.”
Tom Brady’s push to raise awareness about MatchingDonors.com’s living organ donation program led to a number of people stepping up and becoming donors themselves, directly attributing the credit of their donation to the New England Patriot’s quarterback. As his efforts continue to save lives, MatchingDonors.com thanks Brady tremendously for everything he has done with them to spread lifesaving organ donation awareness over the past 10 years. Most recently, Brady donated to his late mentor’s fund, the Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund for MatchingDonors.com after the NFL sold the highest bidding object of the 2018 NFL “My Cleats, My Cause” auction; Brady’s cleats, which were dedicated to the Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund along with several other worthy organizations.
Tom Martinez’s daughter Linda had this to say about Brady’s recent donation:
“My father, Tom Martinez, taught more than football. He taught kindness, the value of hard work, and above all, gratitude. Tom Brady embodies those qualities. His continued support of MatchingDonors.com is an act of gratitude for his friendship with my father. Brady’s donation…is also a reflection of his kindness, which is saving lives…. My father always said that although the media focused on Brady’s greatness as a quarterback, ‘he is actually an even better person than he is quarterback.’
“The Martinez family is very grateful that Brady continues to honor his coach by supporting the Tom Martinez Goal Line Fund at MatchingDonors.com. This allows my father to keep on helping others in need of life-saving organ transplants, even beyond his death.”
“We believe that if more people were better educated on the ability to be a living organ donor, and we add in the personal communication between potential organ donors and patients needing an organ, the number of donors will increase and so will the probability of a patient receiving their much needed organ. We already have over 15,000 potential donors on our site waiting to find patients needing organs”, said Paul Dooley, MatchingDonors.com CEO and Founder. “MatchingDonors.com is the most comprehensive searching system available. Other organizations concentrate mainly on the passive anonymous portion of finding organ donors – leaving little or no communication between patients and potential donors”.