by Stephen J. Port, Assistant Director of Public Relations
Haymond, a former colonel and 29-year Air Force veteran, signed up for the program 12 years ago at the insistence of a lieutenant from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It wasn’t until this summer that he received a call to donate.
“The lieutenant had been involved in the program and had saved someone’s life,” said Haymond. “So she came back and led an effort to register a whole bunch of us on base.”
Since the summer phone call, Haymond has completed extensive phone interviews with the military program. He received a complete physical August 22 to assure he was in proper physical condition to go through the stem cell procedure. He passed with flying colors.
The process for the stem cell transfer, called Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation (PBSC), officially begins Friday, Sept. 9, when Haymond receives injections that will boost his production of blood-forming stem cells—the same cells found in bone marrow. Those cells will be used to produce potentially cancer-free blood cells in the Australian teen.
The end result—giving life-saving stem cells to another person—comes with limited side effects and pain. But Haymond didn’t think twice about proceeding.
“I’ll feel lousy for a week, but will potentially save the life of a girl who did nothing to deserve her diagnosis,” said Haymond. “It’s an easy tradeoff. Right now, in this moment, I am the best match for this girl, so there’s no doubt in my mind this is the right thing to do. It’s a no-brainer.”
After the procedure, Haymond will receive semiregular updates on how the teen is responding to the operation. He hopes one day to be able to meet her.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.