Just A Sport
May 5, 2013

Just A Sport

“It’s just a sport…Just because it’s Division I college level doesn’t make it any more important. Life is a lot more important than that, so it was pretty easy.”

These wise and inspiring words come from a young hero by the name of Cameron Lyle as told to ABC News. Lyle, a shot putter for the University of New Hampshire, realized that sports are just that…sport. Lyle, aged 21, recently underwent a bone marrow transplant donation in order to save a complete stranger’s life. About a month ago, he was contacted and told he was a 100 percent match for a 28-year-old leukemia patient.

And when he was told that he would not be able to attend his final two meets, he did not blink an eye. He knew that saving a man’s life, or at least giving him a few more years, far outweighed his athletic career. As he, his mom, and his coach all alluded to, it was a no brainer.

As his mother, Chris Sciacca explained of their discussion when he told her, “We talked about in five or 10 years, is he going to look back and say, ‘Damn, I wish I went to that track conference,’ or is he going to say, ‘Damn, I saved someone’s life.” For Lyle, the answer was simple. What matters more than saving another’s life?

In the final days of April, Lyle underwent surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital according to the Daily Mail, which also explained his procedure as such:

“The two-hour procedure, which involves inserting a needle into the hip, collected two liters of bone marrow that was quickly given to the leukemia-stricken man…as part of Mr Lyle’s recovery, he’ll be unable to lift more than 20 pounds over his head for a few weeks, ruling out the heavy objects he tosses in competition.”

Something really inspiring about this is that he does not even know the young man who will receive his bone marrow, and by law they cannot know each other for at least a year and then only if they both give written consent. Lyle will be given updates on how the recipient is doing, but he may never meet him.

This all started when as a sophomore, Lyle and his teammates joined the bone marrow registry. CBS Boston reported that he was told when contacted about donating to the 28-year-old patient that it was a 1 in 500 million chance that he would be a 100 percent perfect match for someone outside of the family.

What a truly amazing and inspiring story. I am just in awe of the charity, sacrifice, and goodness of Cameron Lyle. His choice to help save another life truly inspires me, and I hope it inspires others. If you are like me, and want to know more about the joining the bone marrow registry, a great place to start is the National Marrow Donor Program website. On it you can learn about the myths and facts of bone marrow donation, understand the medical guidelines for joining, find the FAQs, and even begin the registration process.

Today, I write a blog filled with hope, love, and goodness. May this be but just one example of these.

Image Credit: freelanceartist / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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