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MIDWEST NOTEBOOK

Marquette Assistant Awaits Lung Transplant

March 29, 2003|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Kentucky might be ranked No. 1, but Marquette assistant Trey Schwab is at the top of a more pertinent list.

Schwab was diagnosed in 2001 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis--an incurable disease that impedes the body's ability to process oxygen. He learned recently he moved to No. 1 on the lung transplant list at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center.

If Schwab, 38, were to receive the call while in Minneapolis, he would contact a charter flight on standby and within an hour would be on his way to Madison. Time is crucial because the donor organ would be suitable for a transplant for only a few hours.

"Selfishly, you probably wish it could have waited until the end of the year," he said. "But when it's going to happen, it'll happen. We'll get that taken care of, get on with the surgery, get on with the recovery."

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Derek Diener, a cousin of Marquette guard Travis Diener, is a first lieutenant in the Army's Air Defense Artillery, part of a Patriot missile unit stationed in the Persian Gulf. Derek, 25, has two younger brothers playing basketball at Saint Louis and DePaul and his father is a high school coach in Wisconsin.

Travis is unsure of the exact location of Derek -- a 2000 graduate of West Point -- but most Patriot missile units are stationed in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. Travis believes his cousin has gotten word that he is Marquette's leading scorer in two of the three NCAA tournament games.

"I'm sure he's checking if he can," Travis said. "Hopefully, for a few minutes, I can bring some excitement to him."

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