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Bone Marrow Journey - Written by Garrett March

Back in 2016, I transferred to Washington State University and decided to rush Tau Kappa Epsilon after playing two years of college baseball. This is where I first met the fun and outgoing Ben Cushing. We were both in the same pledge class and working on building relationships at WSU. Unfortunately after a few months at WSU, Ben’s health took a turn for the worst and was forced to Seattle to treat his condition. Shortly after Ben was diagnosed, the Gift of Life bone marrow registry came to Pullman, Washington. The organization was collecting cheek swabs by healthy individuals who were seeking to extend a helping hand to those who are need. Therefore, I volunteered to be swabbed in hopes to help Ben. Sadly, I wasn’t a match for Ben, but was connected with another individual who was in need, all because of Ben.

Therefore, this summer I was contacted by the Gift of Life organization that I was a potential match for a little boy who is fighting “Black Diamond Anemia” and is battling for his life. After doing a blood test and physical examination I was cleared to be able to donate for this little boy. So on November 3rd, 2019 the Gift of Life organization paid for my parents and I to be flown to Washington, D.C. to undergo the bone marrow donation.

The surgery itself was no longer than 15- 20 minutes and was minimally invasive. Within the same day, I was walking pain free and had no complications. A common misbelief is that the operation is painful and costly on the body. I personally thought it was a very small price to pay and basically painless (besides being a little sore for a week) to in return be saving the life of another individual.

In the end, everyone at the Georgetown University hospital was basically treating me like a hero. This was a humbling experience for me because all I had to do to save this individuals life was show up and follow through.

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