We launched Longing For A Liver in the middle of June this year, asking for donations, but stressing the importance of living liver donation. The Cleveland Clinic reported to us the first of August that 46 people who met the initial criteria of blood type, age and height had offered to be tested. Two people emerged as possible donors, the first was a gentleman from Texas who knew Greg from his service in the Navy. We flew him into Cleveland multiple times for tests, paying for his airfare, hotel, meals and transportation.
The second candidate was a bit of a surprise and lives here in Canfield! David Crawford and his family have been involved in Canfield athletics for years, from wrestling to baseball and football. His decision to offer to donate his liver was based on his feelings about the people in our community and his desire to give back in a positive way. He met the basic criteria, underwent ongoing tests and biopsies the Clinic needed to be sure the transplant would be a success. His unselfish desire to provide this life giving opportunity also allows him to get back at Greg. As Dave puts it, he and Greg have butted heads for years - this allows him to really get under Greg's skin. Literally.
The transplant surgery is scheduled for Monday, October 29th. Check back here for regular updates.
And when you see Dave, be sure to shake his hand, give him a hug and thank him for his amazing gift of life for Greg.
Greg and Dave served as Honorary Co-Captains for the Canfield-Poland game just 3 days before their scheduled surgery. The weather was a challenge, but it was a great way to honor these 2 deserving members of our community.
We wish you both the best as you continue on this journey of life.
Greg's shower at the Cooper house needed updating in order for Greg to use it after surgery. Two very generous local professionals donated their time and materials!
Josh Cohol and Youngstown Tile & Terrazzo donated all of the tile for the renovation.
Dave Frisbie of D. Frisbie Tile Designs donated his labor to build this beautiful shower.
When you need tile for your home remodeling, please remember D. Frisbie Tile Designs and Youngstown Tile & Terrazzo. And be sure to thank them for their generosity.
Thanks to Craig Olson and Olfield Graphics, we ere able to spread the word on living liver donation, hopefully helping others in need of this life saving procedure. They went above and beyond for all the printed documents we needed. From the flyers and tickets for the Taste of the Valley dinner to the flyers we distributed detailing Greg's journey. Olfield Graphics professionalism and attention to detail made everything look great.
Greg graduated from Boardman High School in 1973. A multi-sport athlete, he earned honors his senior year as an undefeated AAA division 185lb state wrestling champion.
Graduated in 1977, Greg was a two-time NCAA wrestling tournament qualifier.
During Greg's thirty years as a naval aviator and officer, he accumulated over 5700 flight hours and 517 arrested landings while flying from eight different aircraft carriers. Commanding a jet aircraft squadron from 1993-1995, he later earned a Master's Degree in International Security from the Naval War College in 1998. Achieving the rank of Captain, Greg served in various billets ashore and abroad before his final military assignment as the Naval Academy's Deputy Director of Athletics/head of the Physical Education Department from 2003 -2006.
Relocating his family from Annapolis, Maryland to Canfield in 2006, Greg accepted the position as Athletic Director. He has maintained an active liaison with the OHSAA and has served for twelve years on the Executive Committee of the NEOIAAA. In 2015, Greg was named an NEOIAAA Athletic Director of the Year and Ohio Athletic Administrators' District AD of the Year. He was a "Fundamentals of Coaching" course facilitator and is on the OHSAA's "Competitive Balance" committee tasked with reviewing changes in school athletics classifications.
This disease can affect just about anyone, causing severe scarring of the liver. Fluids build up in the body causing edema and infections. A drastic change in diet to reduce fats and sugar intake, along with an exercise regimen can slow the progress, but ultimately, in extreme cases like Greg's, a liver transplant is the only option. Find out more at the American Liver Foundation.
Patients who are waiting for a liver from a deceased donor could potentially be on a transplant list for years. Patients with a more immediate need could benefit from a living donor. Once a compatible living donor is identified, surgeons are able to remove the diseased liver and replace it with a node from a healthy donor liver. Family members are usually the first to request to be tested for compatibility, but complete strangers have also stepped up in certain situations with satisfactory results.
The liver is the only human organ that is able to regenerate to its original size. So for both the patient and the donor, the liver will grown to correct size and function normally.
Greg's health will immediately begin to improve drastically. There are medications, like immuno-suppressants that he will need to take the rest of his life, some are covered by insurance and some are not.
Anyone with an O+ blood type can be tested as a donor for Greg. There are age and weight restrictions, you can find out more details - and how to be tested - at the Cleveland Clinic Liver Transplant Guide.
There's a lot involved in living donation - it's important to know the facts if you are considering becoming a donor. Click below to see information from UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Huge THANKS to Studio Oxygen and everyone who participated in Yoga Under The Lights! You have no idea how special this is to the Cooper family, to experience this amazing Canfield Community support!
During a special pre-game recognition, we will have a moment to wish Greg and his donor, Dave Crawford, well as they head to the Cleveland Clinic in preparation for Monday's transplant surgery. Hope you can join us to cheer on the Cards and honor Greg & Dave!
Step out for a delicious pancake breakfast on Sunday, November 4th, from 9a-2p. Proceeds help with Rotary's philanthropical endeavors. We'll be there with updates on Greg & Dave.
Every donation helps us continue on this journey for a liver for Greg. The Cooper family is responsible for out-of-pocket costs for potential donors, including travel, meals, hotels and lost wages. Once Greg receives his new liver, any funds remaining will be paid forward to another person needing help. Thank you so much for your consideration!
Send your check to: Longing For A Liver, PO Box 13, Canfield, OH 44406.
Non-Profit Spending Guidelines:
This fund is a short term non-profit designed to provide financial assistance for expenses related to Greg Cooper's current health condition as well as any potential expenses related to a liver transplant: including uncovered expenses incurred by a liver donor.
Expenses that are covered:
1. Medical/travel/lodging expenses related to Greg Cooper's current health condition that are not covered by his medical insurance.
2. Medical/travel/lodging/food/lost wage expenses related to a potential donor that are not covered by Greg’s or their insurance policy.
Any payments from the fund must be approved by at least 2 members of the funds board.
Any funds remaining will be donated to another community member in need.
Fund Board includes:
Feel free to contact any board member for more information.