High school coach, former Colt needs kidney

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — 12 people a day in the United States will die from kidney disease. 110,000 Americans are in need of a kidney.

The average wait time is five years. On that waiting list is a former Indianapolis Colt.

Orlando Lowry will receive dialysis four times a day, and he still plans to stay on as the head coach at Park Tudor.

He played in 65 games for the Colts from 1985-89. He was blessed with an enormous amount of athletic ability.

But like all of us, Orlando Lowry is not invincible, but he is an inspiration.

“In that sense, it is a refuge. I can just get totally into the game and I don’t even think about my kidney issues.” Lowry said about football.

Both of Lowry’s kidneys of are failing.

“Even with as hard as it is for him right now, he still barely shows any signs of it during practice. If he wouldn’t have told us, and if you don’t know him like I do, then you would have no idea,” senior Owen Akain said

On the football field, things have always come easy for Lowry, He played 5 NFL seasons.

He was big, strong and athletic.

“I’m human just like everyone else. I have the type of illnesses and I have to deal with them as well. This is life.” Lowry added.

And like football, the clock is ticking for coach Lowry. It’s a race to the goal line.

Next week he will start dialysis. Four sessions a day, everyday.

But he plans to keep coaching.

“I love it. These kids, it keeps me young. It’s been a part of me for 15 years, I just don’t see myself not coaching.” Lowry said.

“We just want to play for him. If we win or lose, we know that he’s worked hard at this school for the football team and we want to show him how hard we want to work for him,” senior quarterback Jack Dassow.

On the sidelines, you would never know what Lowry is going through.

Come game time, he’s all in. There are no doctors, no tests, no self pity. Just passion and football.

“When you’re down and you can’t get up, you got to keep fighting and that’s what I do everyday. Just fight and live my life.” Lowry said.

Coach says his adult son who lives in North Carolina is currently the best match.

He says more testing will be done next week.

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