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April 23, 2013

College athlete ends career to donate bone marrow

PLAISTOW, N.H. — Last month, Cameron Lyle of Plaistow, New Hampshire had a decision to make.

He could finish up his senior season of track at the University of New Hampshire, or he could give the season up and have an opportunity to save someone’s life.

It was a no-brainer.

Lyle will be donating his bone marrow to an anonymous recipient on April 24. As a result, he will have to miss the final two meets of his career, including the America East Championships, where he was hoping to throw shot put.

“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.

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