Portland track coach to donate kidney

Updated: January 11, 2008, 7:34 PM ET
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland cross country and track coach Rob Conner will donate one of his kidneys to a woman whose husband will in turn donate one of his kidneys to Conner's mother.

The procedure, called a paired donor exchange, will take place Monday at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

Conner, 43, has coached the Pilots for 18 years. He was not a match for his mother, Shirley Conner of Olympia, Wash., who has polycystic kidney disease and has been having dialysis after having a kidney removed.

"Because she already had one operation, this is not so scary for her," Rob Conner said. "She's not so excited about the dialysis having done it for a few weeks."

A computer database linked the Conners to the couple that could potentially be a match.

The Conners do not know the couple, not even their names or hometowns, as is the hospital's policy. There is the possibility they could meet afterward, Rob Conner said.

"I'm getting more nervous by the hour. We're getting up to it," he said. "I was one of those guys that raised their hand right away for this. Now it's time for action."

Rob Conner said he hopes to be back to work full time for Portland's first indoor track meet on Feb. 1 at Washington.

Last May, Oregon State offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf donated his kidney to Laurie Cavanaugh, the wife of Beavers offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh.

Laurie Cavanaugh, 48, also has polycystic kidney disease, a kidney enlargement.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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