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A Hero for a Hero: Tom Brady’s Search to Save His Mentor

Updated on January 29, 2012

When we started young, no matter where we grew up, we always had someone to look up to for guidance. We always had that one figure, that one individual that was our personal hero. This is especially true when it comes to someone we know on a personal level. When you develop that connection, you want that person to be around no matter what and do whatever it takes to repay them for what they’ve done. Tom Brady of the Patriots has such a mentor and he’s fighting as hard as he can to save his mentor’s life.

On January 27, 2012, ABC News reported in an article on their website that Tom Martinez, a retired football coach from the College of San Mateo, is suffering from a kidney failure. For the past two years, Coach Martinez has been looking for a donor and has been unsuccessful.

Three months ago, Coach Martinez had a visit with a doctor about the status of his condition. The news was not good: the doctor told Martinez that he would only have a few more months to live if a suitable donor was not found soon.

Tom Brady first met Coach Martinez when he was 13 years-old. He was training to become a quarterback at a football camp that was headed by Martinez in California. Since that time, Tom Brady has sought help and guidance from Martinez to improve his game. Tom Brady was one of several protégés under Coach Brady who have gone to enjoy successful careers in the NFL.

Determined to save his mentor’s life, Tom Brady has submitted a banner that has been posted on the website of You can find the link to Tom Brady’s page below:

Banner for Coach Martinez is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find potential donors for needed organs. Patients post a profile online, which gives background details about the patients seeking a new kidney. It also displays basic health information such as the patient’s blood type and the organ in need. Donors can then visit the website and contact any of the patients if they feel there are a match for the transplant patient. It was founded in 2004 by Paul Dooley and Dr. Jeremiah Lowney to help the thousands of patients who are sitting on waiting lists and praying for a chance to find a donor.

The owners of the website have been very please with Tom Brady’s involvement. According to the article, they have estimated that at least 300 people have signed on to the website to see if they are a match. In addition, they have noticed a spike in potential donors, coming out to offer their organs for the transplant operations.

But Coach Martinez has been more to Tom Brady than just an outstanding coach. He also considers him a real friend.

In a video press conference covered by WPRI News on January 26, Tom Brady gave a verbal plea to viewers to visit the site and help his coach find a kidney:

“He’s, you know, been a great friend and, you know, for a long time taught me to throw a football at a very young age…a lot of people are looking for, you know, kidneys or, you know, some different types of transplants, but he’s very deserving. He’s a great man.”

As for Coach Martinez, he has remained in good spirits. In the article, he says that relies heavily on the good spirits and support he gets from his teammates and his family. He was also quoted for saying:

"I always tell myself, just another challenge, just another bump in the road."

When you look at the relationship between Martinez and Brady, you see a common theme between the two. Certainly it’s more than just being successful football stars.

Coach Martinez is fighting against all odds to keep himself alive and is calling upon the people he trusts and loves to help him stay the course. Tom Brady has voiced his call to the public to help him find that miracle match.

Have you figured out what that theme is? Let me spell out for you:


Frankly, I believe this idea is what makes a mentor for what he or she is. Now yes, each of us has a reason for why we want to follow in the footsteps of someone we admire. Perhaps that person helped us to discover a talent that we didn’t see in ourselves. Maybe that person was like the loving parent or older sibling we’ve never had, offering a friendly ear whenever you needed it. In some way or another, your personal idol has provided you something that has enabled you to be happy with your life and find your real passion for living…something we’ve clearly seen between Coach Martinez and Brady. But why would anyone go out of his way for you and help you become someone incredible?

It is because mentors see people like you as having a natural gift and they want you to believe in yourself so you will work hard and develop it. Life these days is not an easy one to live, especially when it is time for you to be on your own. It can throw so many hurdles and obstacles that it can overwhelm you. It can make you lose that one chance you have to become someone you want, so you feel as if it's time to give up.

Real mentors see you in a different light. When you stumble and fall, they don’t see you as someone who isn't good enough to do what you want. They’ve lived through times, they’ve fought hard to make it where they are, and they were just like you and me once. They’ve walked a long mile to get to where they are, but still they made it because they never gave up.

They see what we all are going through and the kind of struggles we endure and they have been there, so if they offer their support, then because of it we certainly can too.

Coach Martinez saw that in Brady…a young man with a real talent and a real passion for football and a real desire to succeed no matter what.

And when we grow up with that mentality of keeping up the good fight, we realize just how much thanks we owe to our mentors…by being the hero to them as they were to us. We do put our mentors high on a pedestal because of how much more they’ve seen in life and what more they have done, but they are people like us. As people they will hit roadblocks and snags, so they will still need help to get them through their though times as well.

I add my own voice to Brady’s plea on two fronts.

First, if you know of someone that could help Coach Martinez find that miracle match then please have them visit the website. It’s obvious that he has done a lot of good for people like Brady over the years and right now Coach Martinez could use a lot of help in return.

Second, take some time to think about who your mentor is and live by their principles and encourage them to never give up on life. When you finally understand what that means to you, then be ready to be there for them and encourage them when they need your support…there will always be a time in their life when they may need it!

In time, your strong ideas and encouragement will make you hero in someone else’s eyes and you can be sure they will one day be a real hero to you.


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    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Thank you very much for doing that Lady E!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Very touching and Inspiring. I will share it on social networks. I hope he gets a Donor soon.

      Well done to Tom.

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Thank you Tams!

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      Inspiring story!

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Many thanks rabbit75!

    • rabbit75 profile image

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Truly an awesome and inspirational story. Thank you so much for sharing this. So very true. Voted up!