College track athlete reportedly ends career to donate bone marrow to leukemia patient
Cameron Lyle, a senior who throws shot put, discus, and hammer at UNH, is scheduled to be a donor to an anonymous recipient on April 24. The procedure will leave him unable to compete in his remaining two track meets, effectively ending his collegiate athletic career.
The sacrifice was not much of a choice for Lyle.
According to the Eagle-Tribune, Lyle, who is from Plaistow, N.H., was swabbed during his sophomore year when many UNH athletes were encouraged to join the bone marrow registry.
Nearly two years went by without anything happening until Lyle was informed a few months ago that he might be a match. A few weeks ago, he learned he was a 100-percent match for someone in need of a donor.
“They told me it was a one in 5 million chance of me being a match for a non-family member,” Lyle told the Eagle-Tribune. “They gave me the timeline and everything’s been moving quickly after that.”
Lyle’s recipient is a 28-year-old suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The identity of the two men will be kept secret from one another for at least a year. Lyle will be unable to lift anything greater than 20 pounds over his head for a few weeks following the procedure, which will end his track career. But that hardly matters to him.
“He has six months to live and I have the possibility to buy him a couple more years,” Lyle told the Eagle-Tribune.
Both Lyle’s track coach and mother are proud of him for his decision. His mother, who will be with him when he donates the bone marrow, called him a hero.
This is an absolutely incredible gesture by the young man. He is displaying a strong sense of maturity and selflessness with his sacrifice. Lyle’s story also hits close to home for me; the father of one my friends was suffering from leukemia and had his hopes up after a match for a bone marrow donor was found. However, the donor backed out at the last minute, leaving my friend’s father to undergo a rare procedure which luckily worked.
Lyle’s courage is admirable, and we are hoping for the best for him and the person who receives his donation.