staff, October 18, 2015

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During football and basketball games, BTN LiveBIG will spotlight notable examples of research, innovation and community service from around the conference. In-Game stories will provide more background on these features, and the opportunity to view the videos again.

When Connor Cosgrove was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks into his career as a wide receiver at the University of Minnesota, he had to call an audible on his life?s goals.

Now, the former student-athlete is making sure other people undergoing cancer treatment have a bit more comfort in their lives as they go through chemotherapy. Cosgrove is the co-founder of ComfPort, a line of T-shirts with button-fastened pockets that open up for easy, discreet access to the patient?s port.

The port is a metal disc inserted under the skin during treatment that serves as the entry point for chemo medicine - which, as Cosgrove stressed, is one of the roughest aspects of chemotherapy. His goal in developing the Comfport shirts was to minimize the port?s impact on a patient?s daily life.

?We didn?t want people to have to dress like they had cancer,? Cosgrove explained.  ?When you look at our shirt, you wouldn?t know that it had a deeper purpose. And the pocket simply unbuttons and opens up so the people can have access to their port for chemotherapy.?

The shirts come in a variety of styles and colors, and for each shirt purchased another is donated to someone battling cancer. There is also a line of ?supPort" T-shirts for people who don?t have cancer but want to show their commitment to the cause.

[btn-post-package]While Cosgrove?s first thought after being diagnosed back in 2010 was that he?d never play another down, his journey through cancer treatment left him with a whole new set of even greater goals.

?My entire life, all I dreamt about was catching touchdowns, and now my life has such a bigger purpose,? he said. ?This is where my heart is. I want to make a difference ? I want to give back to the community that saved my life.?

By Grant Rindner