Dec 15, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Tigers logo on a basketball prior to the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Fed Ex Forum. Louisville won 87-78. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis assistant coach donates kidney to sister, hopes to return soon

Robert Kirby, assistant coach of the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team, recently had surgery to donate one of his kidneys to his sister. The kidney donation comes after a easy decision made by Kirby.

Kirby’s mother had passed away from a combination of kidney failure and lupus in 1996, and he wasn’t allowed to help her out. According to an article from ESPN,

Kirby’s mother, Ethel, refused to allow any of her 13 children to see whether they could be a donor match.

So when Kirby heard his sister needed a kidney, he had no problem offering his own in order to save her life. He said,

My mother wouldn’t allow us to donate, she said she lived her life. She didn’t want any of us to do that. This was my sister, and it was never a question mark if I would, but it was ‘Could I?’”

Kirby was the one match out of all his siblings, so it’s a good thing he was willing to donate from the start. Both Robert and his sister, Virginia Kirk, 57, are doing just fine after the surgery.

Kirby is hoping to get back to Memphis and on the courts again soon, although he will be spending the next couple of weeks just resting and recovering.


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