Emporia State gives the Gift of Life to Cancer Fighters

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:52 PM CDT
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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - It’s a simple gesture.

“If you are able to help,” Wyatt Seidel, an Emporia State track and field athlete, said. “I don’t see why there isn’t a reason.”

That has huge benefits

“This is saving the life by merely swabbing and being available,” Earl Young, a 1960s Olympian and Blood Cancer survivor, said. “Should you be the match.”

Emporia State athletics paired with the nursing department to host a bone marrow donor registration drive.

“Who knows it could be five, 10 years down the line or tomorrow you could have a call and say, there is someone who needs your specific bone marrow, are you willing to donate?” Seidel said. “And it is the difference between life and death.”

Signing up for the international bone marrow registry is actually pretty simple. First, fill out forms with personal information. Then use three swabs in your mouth for one minute each. Mail it off, and you might save a life.

“It’s a life changing event.” Young said.

A gold medal brought tangible evidence of the gift of life. Earl Young, a 1960s Olympian, would have lost his life to a rare blood cancer if not for a bone marrow donation from a complete stranger.

“Because of a lady named Christine Waag in the Offenberg, Germany being a donor, I’m alive today,” Young said. “She was the only match out of 22 million that matched my need. So I’m very sensitive to the fact that this is a numbers game. We need to get as many people as we can aware that it’s easy to become a bone marrow donor.”

This drive brought hundreds of new names to the donor base. Meaning someone will get a second chance on life.

“It’s in ESU’s DNA,” Seidel said. “This is what we want. We want to help. We want to save lives and we want to do what we can for our community, because our community has given so much to us and it’s the least we can do as students and as a body of Emporia state.”

If you would like to register to be a bone marrow donor, visit to request a packet.

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