BTN.com staff, October 18, 2015
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