Long time head coach Troy Olson has seen many challenges behind the bench for Century Hockey, but maybe the toughest one is when he faced off with his own health.
Olson has been down this road before, going through a kidney transplant back in 2005. But it felt like Deja Vu halfway through Century’s season.
“It kind of started faltering towards the fall of last year,” said Olson. “And we were thinking of trying to make it through the hockey season and do it afterward.”
Olson’s mom making the first donation 15 years ago. This time, his sister choosing to be the next donor.
“We found out that I was a really good match for him which was the best news I could as for,” said Jacey Brown. “It was such a relief that I was going to be able to do it as long as the rest of the testing worked out.”
Olson was on dialysis for the latter half of the season. The team making it to a state tournament despite knowing what their coach was going through.
“It’s kind of cool to see how resilient high school kids are,” Olson said. “They get it and they understand that you obviously got to put your health first.”
The original operation was scheduled for April, however COVID-19 pushed things back.
“My biggest fear was that it would get canceled or postponed again or something would happen with my health,” Brown said. “So I tried really hard to stay healthy.”
A GoFundMe was created to support the coach. An original goal of $5000, but donors tripled that amount, and on May 5, the operation was a success.
“You just feel the support when you’re in the hospital when it was climbing,” said Brown. “And it’s hard to describe what that felt like, but I’m really thankful for that for him.”
Olson and Brown are recovering, but they know that through this whole experience, it has taken their sibling bond to a whole new level, with a new appreciation for organ donation.
“It’s obviously added a new dimension to our relationship,” said Olson. “It’s just, you really can’t describe when someone gives you a second chance.”
Olson says once he’s recovered, he hopes to get back on the lake for his favorite hobby, fishing.