Target: Cameron Lyle, student and athlete at the University of New Hampshire
Goal: Praise Lyle for choosing to save a man’s life over his own athletic career
Cameron Lyle, who is a part of a division I sport team at the University of New Hampshire, is unlike any other 21-year-old student. Lyle, who participates in the shot put and hammer throw on the track and field team, willingly chose to end his college athletic career early in order to donate his bone marrow to a stranger in need. Lyle, a senior, took part in his last college season game before going to Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital to help save a life. Lyle’s selfless act and generous donation to a stranger must be praised.
Lyle was barely an adult when he got his mouth swabbed to join the bone marrow transplant registry two years ago. His decision to be a donor was tested when he received the phone call informing him that he could be a good match for a 28-year-old man suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia. The young athlete went in for more tests and was told that he was indeed a perfect match for the patient who had roughly six months to live. Instead of being selfish and turning away from a stranger in need, Lyle agreed to donate his bone marrow after discussing his decision with his mother and his coach.
“When they first told me, I was like ‘Ok, cool. I’m definitely going to do it.’ After that I kind of went to tell my coach and then I realized slowly that my season was over.” Lyle explained. “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.” Lyle knew that the chances for a perfect match between two strangers were one in five million, which meant that if he did not give his bone marrow, the man might have never gotten the chance to live longer.
“It was kind of a no-brainer for a decent human. I couldn’t imagine just waiting. He could have been waiting for years for a match. I’d hope someone would donate to me if I needed it,” he added.
“He simply sent me a text that said, ‘So I guess I have a chance to save someone’s life,” Lyle’s mother, Chris Sciacca said. “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.’”
Lyle, who stands at six foot two inches and weighs 255 pounds, will not be able to help the team in next month’s America East Conference Championship. But despite this loss, Lyle’s coach and mentor for four years, Jim Boulanger stated that he was proud of the young man’s actions and he is not the only man to be proud. Lyle’s actions must be commended and acknowledged.
Dear Cameron Lyle,
I commend you for choosing to be selfless and humane. The fact that you donated your bone marrow to a complete stranger is admirable. It could have been so easy to say no and focus on your own athletic career. No one would have known if you had chosen to decline. But instead, you made the honorable decision to end your last college athletic season early to help a man in need.
Your decision to save the 28-year-old man who has lymphoblastic leukemia must be praised. The anonymous patient might not have survived much longer since finding perfect matches between two complete strangers is extremely rare, and with his condition, he had roughly six months to live. Your actions were extremely compassionate and I thank you for reminding the world that kindness still exists.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr