Last week we and everyone else brought you the story of Minnesota redshirt senior walk-on kicker Justin Juenemann getting awarded a scholarship by Gopher coach PJ Fleck in an awesome way. Featured prominently in that video was a patient the Gophers first met at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital named Kyle Tanner.
Kyle was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disease. The best chance for a cure for his disease was a marrow transplant. Kyle did not have a fully matched donor in his family, so he had to find a match on the national on the national Be The Match Registry to save his life.
As we saw in the video, Kyle was lucky. He found a match and that person saved his life. He is now 22 years old and, while health is still a challenge, he was able to graduate high school and is attending Central Michigan this fall for meteorology.
The University of Minnesota Football Program and Coach Fleck want to make sure that more people like Kyle can find the donor matches that they need to save their lives. So they created this public service announcement along with Be The Match to increase awareness of the national Be The Match Registry, and to show how easy it is to become a potential marrow donor and save a life—maybe a family member, maybe a friend, or just maybe some random person you have never met.
As Coach Fleck and Eric Carter say in the video, please go to www.bethematch.org/gophers to find out more about how you can get on the national registry and potentially save a life. All it takes is a quick and painless cheek swab to get placed into a database of potential donors. The greater the number of donors in the registry, the more lives that can potentially be saved.
So please, watch the video and forward it around to people you know. As much as we all love watching the Gophers on Saturdays in the fall, lets all try and make sure that possibility exists for as many people as possible.