BCS Advantage Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 7

drive and was one of 100 people inspired by Mya’s situation to go through the short process of registering that day. travelled to the patient’s bone marrow where they, ideally, are stimulating the patient’s body to produce its own blood cells. “I knew the chances of someone [from the bone marrow registry] being selected were pretty slim, but it was only going to take 15 Coach Kruk hands Mya a softball before the minutes. So, I thought ‘let’s go, Championship Game. there’s no excuse.’ My wife and I got our cheeks swabbed, filled out the paperwork, and we were done. It was that simple,” says Coach Dawson. Be the Match reached out to Dawson shortly before this magazine went to print. The recipient (whose identity is being kept confidential) is recovering and doing as well as can be expected. At this point, Coach Dawson does not need to donate again, but if the person’s condition worsens, he says he wouldn’t hesitate to go through the process again. What Coach Dawson didn’t know at the time, was this altruistic act in honor of Mya Grace “I don’t consider myself a hero,” Matt Dawson gives a thumbs up during would have a ripple effect far says Dawson. “The goal was to donation process. beyond the Enka community. A help Mya Grace, but we ended few months after Coach Dawson up helping someone else. Anyone signed up, he received an unexpected call. at that bone marrow drive that day would have done what I did.” Dawson says, “I was actually playing golf when Be the Match called! I initially thought it was a telemarketer. Mya Grace’s life and legacy gained attention via Then they left a voicemail, so I checked it and was like local news coverage and Facebook. We may never ‘Oh my’! They told me I was a match for someone.” know how far her story has reached or who has been inspired by this brave seven-year-old girl. On this warm day in mid-July, Dawson’s excitement and curiosity about being a bone marrow donor was “That’s what was so special about Mya. She made so swiftly eclipsed by shock and sadness. That day, Mya many people want to do better and be better,” says Grace lost her battle with cancer. Coach Kruk. “It was a very emotional day,” says Dawson. Overwhelmed at times with different emotions, Dawson soon began the 6-week preparation process so doctors could harvest his bone marrow to help a stranger in desperate need. Coach Dawson believes, “You’ve got to help out when you can and hope for the best. That’s what you’re giving when you give bone marrow. You are giving someone hope.” As part of his preparation, five days before he was set to fly to Virginia for the procedure, Dawson began receiving injections to stimulate his bones to produce more blood forming stem cells, which would be pulled from his veins just like the procedure for donating plasma. “In reality, the process was so simple. It was like giving blood for four hours.” The stem cells pulled from Coach Dawson are the same found in bone marrow. They were given to the recipient in an IV, just like a blood transfusion. They Matt Dawson works with a student during class at Enka High. Log on to BeTheMatch.org to find out more about hosting a bone marrow regi 䁑ɥٔ)хѥѡɕѱѼ)Ѽѡɕ(