Canfield athletic director, coach undergoing surgery for liver d - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Canfield athletic director, coach undergoing surgery for liver donation

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CANFIELD, Ohio -

The strength of the Cardinal pride is being tested off the field, off the mat, and on the operating table. 

Friday evening Canfield Local Schools announced that Athletic Director Greg Cooper would get to meet his liver donor. The donor- a man Cooper was already intimately familiar- wrestling coach Dave Crawford.  

The Canfield Athletic Director and wrestling coach were slated to undergo surgery early Monday morning. The procedure was set to take place at the Cleveland Clinic and take several hours. 

Crawford is donating a portion of his liver to Cooper, who was diagnosed with chronic liver disease approximately two years ago and has been searching for a match ever since. 

During a fundraiser in September, Cooper's family surprised him with the news that a donor had been found, but kept the identity a secret. 

That announcement came Friday evening as Cooper and Crawford were standing together on the field, awaiting the coin toss in the Poland -Canfield game. 

Crawford told 21 News that he felt he had to take the tests to learn if he could be a donor. 

"I figured the least I can do is try and we kept doing tests and I kept passing and ultimately I ended up in a position here where I can donate," said Crawford. 

Meanwhile, Cooper said it's just a little more proof about what type of people are in the Canfield community. 

Cooper said, "We are very fortunate to have some great people here and they have really collectively and individually supported me and my family."

More than 40 people called the Cleveland Clinic asking to be considered as a live donor when they heard Cooper, a former naval captain, was in need. 

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