Athlete to Forgo Senior Season to Save A Life

Sure it’s Friday, but it’s possible something’s still got you down. If you need a pick-me-up of the noncaffeinated variety, I may have just what you’re looking for.

This is by far one of the most feel-good stories I’ve come across in quite some time.

University of New Hampshire senior track athlete Cameron Lyle was faced with, what to most would be seen as an incredibly difficult decision recently: Play his senior season like he had anticipated he would be doing, or give that season up to donate bone marrow and potentially save someone’s life.

He went with the latter, and told the Eagle-Tribune earlier this week that it was a no-brainer.

“I knew right away I was definitely going to donate,” said Lyle, who graduated from Timberlane Regional High School in 2009. “I was pretty terrified at first, but it is starting to settle in.”

Lyle had his mouth swabbed during his sophomore year, when many UNH athletes were being encouraged to join the bone marrow registry.

He didn’t think anything of it until a few months ago when he received a call from the National Marrow Donor Program telling him there was a possibility of being a match. Just a few weeks ago, the news was more clear. He was a 100 percent match.

“They told me it was a one in 5 million chance of me being a match for a non-family member,” Lyle said. “They gave me the timeline and everything’s been moving quickly after that.”

Lyle will be donating to a 28-year-old male who is suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. By law, Lyle and the recipient must remain anonymous to each other for one year.

“He has six months to live and I have the possibility to buy him a couple more years,” Lyle said.

After the surgery, Lyle will not be able to lift more than 20 pounds over his head for a few weeks, putting throwing the discus, hammer and shot put out of the equation.

While Lyle and the recipient will have to legally remain anonymous for a year, the donor said he would love to meet the recipient eventually, and that he can’t imagine what the man–only a few years older than himself–must be going through.

Happy Friday.

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