Kobie Coltrane has gone through a lot over the past year. For starters, he had to have a toe amputated, having to cope with not only the physical challenges of losing a body part, but also the mental toll of losing a literal part of himself. Now, Kobie — a BJJ blue belt at Top Level Martial Arts (a Pedro Sauer affiliate) — is back in the hospital for congestive heart failure and needs a heart transplant.
Of course, Kobie is used to fighting uphill battles. He does jiu-jitsu, after all, and five years’ worth of training in this martial art will teach you to not give up no matter how much you may want to. But Kobie and his wife, Jacquetta, are now asking for the support of the BJJ community to help this blue belt get through what may be the toughest time of his life.
Kobie and Jacquetta are humble, and they themselves have asked only for “all the prayers, well wishes, good thoughts and anything else out there positive [they] can get.” But others are rallying behind the couple to help support them financially as well. A GoFundMe has been set up to cover the expenses that insurance doesn’t — parking and gasoline costs for hospital trips, boarding fees for their dog, hotel costs for family members who want to come in to support Kobie, etc. A friend of the couple, DM Morris, has also designed a t-shirt, with all profits coming from the sales to go directly to the family. The shirt has the phrase “9 toe samurai” written down the front to honor Kobie.
I will admit that, while we share many jiu-jitsu practitioners’ stories and medical fundraisers here on the JJT, Kobie’s story is personal to me. He has been a dear long-distance friend for some time, and last year, we were able to close the distance for the first time to roll together at an open mat at Ohio’s Consecution BJJ. He has always been kind, supportive, and optimistic even in the face of hardship, and it’s no wonder that so many people who have met him are trying to support him and Jacquetta in any way they can. He’s a shining beacon of positivity on and off the mats, and I truly believe the world — especially the BJJ world — is a better place because he’s in it.
If you have money or simply good thoughts to spare, please consider sending some Kobie’s way as he and his loved ones hope and pray for a suitable donor heart.