DURHAM, N.H. (CBS) – A University of New Hampshire shot putter is being called a hero, though not for his actions on the field.
Cameron Lyle trained for eight years to compete at next month’s American East championships.
Instead, the 21 year-old UNH senior is hanging up his cleats, in order to give a man he doesn’t know a chance at life.
The journey began in Lyle’s sophomore year when he and his teammates had their mouths swabbed to join the national Bone Marrow Registry.
“I forgot that I was in it until a couple of months ago,” Lyle told CBS News.
That’s when registry officials called him to say he is a 100-percent match for a man with less than six months to live.
The odds of a perfect match were unlikely.
“Figure one in five million,” said Lyle.
“Maybe one in four million outside of the family, which is really hard to find a match.”
University of New Hampshire coach Jim Boulanger has seen many champions in his 30 seasons. He can also say he’s coached more than one bone marrow donor.
Catherine Perrella was a UNH senior when she donated her bone marrow to save a life.
The 800-meter runner also cut her collegiate sports career short three years ago.
“Must be something in the water,” said Coach Boulanger.
Lyle began his procedure Wednesday at Massachusetts General Hospital. All he knows about the recipient is that he’s 28 years old and suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“I would love to give him a shot and a second chance,” said Lyle.