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molly trott with boy to whom she donated kidney

Athletic trainers always have to be ready to spring into action and prepared to save lives on the field–but alumna Molly Trott (BS ’14) has shown how that attitude can actually be a lifestyle. In 2021, when a co-worker’s son was in need of a kidney transplant, she stepped up as a living donor, an act of selflessness that earned her the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society (PATS) Lifesaver Award at the 2022 Student Symposium.  

Trott, who now works as an athletic trainer for the Pitt Panthers, learned of the need from her colleague, Volleyball Strength and Conditioning Coach Mary Beth George, whose four-year-old son’s life depended on a kidney donation.   

“What motivated me to sign up as a living donor was the empathy I had toward the George family and the struggles Danny was going through,” says Trott. “I’ve always lived by the golden rule of ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated,’ and so that is exactly what I did. Once my results came back as a match, I knew that I had become part of a greater plan and felt compelled to move forward with the donation.” 

The nerves didn’t set in until the morning of the procedure, but the support from the community helped give Trott the strength to overcome any anxiety she had.  

“Upon meeting the medical team during the testing process, I wasn’t just a patient, but a new part of their living donor community. My nurse coordinator and surgeon did amazing jobs at making sure I stayed very informed every step of the way.”  

But, she says, “when I was in the pre-op bed waiting to be taken to the operating room, that’s when I began to feel nervous and began to fully understand what I was about to put my body through. The recovery was something I don’t think anyone could have prepared me for, but the support system I had surrounding me after my surgery motivated me to do my best to get better each day of recovery.” 

Now she hopes that her generosity and bravery can help others find the same courage in themselves.  

“I used to dream of becoming a positive role model and professional in the Sports Medicine community. I hope that my kidney donation not only inspires others to explore living donation for those in need, but also inspires people to live fully in their capacity to change this world for the better,” she says.