But studies that have tracked donors over decades, including one published January 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that living kidney donors were just as healthy as many in the general population who are not donors.
"People need to know that you can do this as a live organ donor," said Lowney.
Martinez, who has coached more games to victory than he can count and has mentored more athletes who continue to depend on him, seems to always find the best to say about his athletes such as Tom Brady.
"He obviously is the summation of everything you attempt to teach," he said. "I know him well enough to know that he's a much bigger star off the field than on the field."
But when asked about his own condition, and the hope for finding a kidney, Martinez depends on his teammates in life -- Brady, his family and potential donors -- to help him make it through.
"I always tell myself, just another challenge, just another bump in the road," Martinez said with tears in his eyes. "And I'm a proud person, so I try to go over the bumps by myself, but in this case I needed help going over the bump."
"I'm very deep in appreciation, and many times I don't know how to say it," he said.