Former UM football player gives gift of life to his dadPosted on November 23rd, 2011 No comments
But in 2010, 24 years later, he was again called to U-M. This time, he would be the champion, not to win a football game, but instead to help someone he loved continue to play the most important game — the game of life.
Dave Knight became an organ donor, giving one his kidneys to his father Tom.
Knight appeared at Michigan Football Coach Brady Hoke’s press conference at noon Monday, Nov. 7, along with Jeffrey Punch, M.D., Director of Transplantation for the University of Michigan Health System. Punch performed the operation that placed Knight’s kidney into his father’s body.
“The decision to donate a kidney for me was easy … it’s just doing the right thing. I am very grateful to have been taught this by the person to whom I donated: my Dad,” said Knight, during the press conference.
“At Michigan, the team always comes first … and when a teammate needs help you give it to them. You have an opportunity to do what’s right on Nov. 16 at the Big House and become a member of the Wolverines for Life team. Do it!”
Knight, Coach Hoke and leaders from both the Health System and Michigan athletics hope to spur participation in the annual fall challenges between U-M and Ohio State – the Wolverine-Buckeye Challenge and the Blood Battle. Each school tries to beat the other in collecting blood donations or organ donor sign-ups before their teams meet on the gridiron Nov. 26, this year at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Last year, U-M won both challenges.
If it wasn’t for him,” Tom said at a recent Wolverine football practice, “I wouldn’t be here today.”
This fall, Dave Knight is among the Michigan athletes, coaches and physicians encouraging others to make life-saving donations of organs, tissue, blood and bone marrow.