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Athlete gives up his career to donate bone marrow to save stranger’s life

By Mason White 1:58 PM April 26, 2013
Cameron Lyle 

By: David Ross
(Scroll down for video) A 21-year-old man has made a decision to give up his career in order to save the life of a cancer patient.

The University of New Hampshire student has been called a hero after he decided to end his track and field career early so he can donate bone marrow to a man with leukemia who has never seen before.

Cameron Lyle, of Plaistow, New Hampshire registered as a bone marrow donor, along with the rest of his teammates, two years ago, when he was a sophomore. At that point, the group was told that the odds to be a match to someone who is not a family member is “one in five million,” Lyle said.

Lyle, who is now a senior, did not think much of it until a few weeks ago, when he received a phone call informing him that was a perfect match for a 28-year-old man who suffers with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The patient was given six months to live, if he does not find a donor.

Lyle faced a tough decision, because if he decided to donate his bone marrow then he would not be able to continue playing. After the surgery, he will not be able to lift anything more than 20 pounds. On the other hand he could save a man’s life, but their is no time to wait.

For Lyle, the decision was a no-brainer. “He has six months to live and I have the possibility of giving him a couple of years to live,” Lyle said. “I was very scared at first, but it is starting to settle in,” he added.

“I was pleasantly surprised that a young man with a good career ahead of him gave it all up in order to save the life of a man he never met. By law, the recipient must remain anonymous until one year after the donation, we all wish the 28-year-old man a speedy recovery and we hope he gets well very soon. We are looking forward to the happy reunion ceremony of the donor and recipient when they meet in the future. Hopefully both will be in perfect health by then,” Maria Griffin, 46, of Manchester, New Hampshire told after learing about Lyle’s heroic actions.

Christine Sciacca, Lyle’s mother, is very proud of her son’s decision, “He is my hero. I was brought to tears when he told me of his plans to give up his career in order to donate bone marrow,” she said.

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