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Former Gopher football player's new line: Clothes for fellow cancer patients

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Leukemia cut short Connor Cosgrove's football career at the University of Minnesota. But it also opened the door to his new project: a clothing line designed with cancer patients in mind.

Cosgrove is a former Gopher wide receiver who's now a cancer survivor and senior at the U of M.

He and his brother, Clint, launched a Kickstarter campaign Tuesday in hopes of raising $30,000 to market a shirt they've designed called the ComfPort.

The shirts are designed to blend fashion and function. A pocket on the shirt opens to give doctors and nurses access to a patient's "port." That's a medical device implanted in the chests of many cancer patients. It's used to administer medications, chemotherapy, or blood transfusions without the need for repeated needle sticks.

Connor writes on his Kickstarter page that some of the pain and discomfort he felt during his chemo treatments came from his shirt or a blanket tugging on the IV line connected to his port. He says the ComfPort is meant to solve that problem while letting patients dress the way they would outside of a hospital.

Connor was diagnosed in 2010. He tells KSTP he quickly came up with the idea for a such a shirt, then spent more than three years refining that idea in consultation with doctors and nurses.

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The Cosgroves say for each shirt sold, another will be donated to a patient in need.

Connor, a native of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, had his career as a Gopher ended before it really got started. But he's stayed connected to the athletic department and received a student-athlete achievement award from the Gophers in 2013 for persevering through adversity.

WCCO tagged along in December of 2013 when he went through his last chemotherapy treatment. Cosgrove said then he wants to spend his life helping others through their cancer battles.

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