Tom Brady tries to find kidney match for mentor

January 27, 2012 12:04:21 AM PST
A staph infection that resulted in kidney failure has a Menlo Park man and his family on a five-year-long struggle so far to find a donor. However, their ordeal may soon be over, thanks to a Facebook post by New England Patriots quarterback and Bay Area native Tom Brady.

Pictures throughout his house help tell the story of coach Tom Martinez's long relationship with Tom Brady.

"If you play any athletic sport when you were young, and you have a pretty good coach, that coach is always somebody you look up to. And they don't do wrong, I mean they're your man. And so we started out with that relationship," said Martinez.

A signed Brady jersey hangs on his wall with the number 12. Coincidentally, Brady was 12 years old when he first started working with coach Martinez. Now, Martinez and Brady are still in close contact so this past playoff weekend was an interesting situation because he was rooting for the 49ers and the Patriots.

"The tough one would have been, if New England played the 49ers. In that case, in my opinion, you win both ways," said Martinez.

Beyond pushing for his star pupil, these days Martinez is blown over by the efforts Brady is making to help him find a kidney. The Super Bowl-bound quarterback posted on his Facebook recently that his longtime mentor needs help. Since then the offers from complete strangers have been coming in.

"From what people are telling me, a lot of the people that are volunteering are Army, Marines, two Navy Seals," said Martinez.

Martinez says 60 people have come forward following Brady's Facebook post, 40 look like good matches. Over the years he says his mantra to Brady - and all his other students - is "never give up." And that's his plan in finding a successful kidney match.