ACU alumnus Earl Young, Olympic gold medalist and leukemia survivor, will kick off the 2015 Delete Blood Cancer Relay in Chapel April 20.
Young won his gold medal in the 4×400 meter relay in the 1960 Summer Olympic games in Rome. He later faced a bigger hurdle after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2011.
He needed an immediate transplant, which came from a donor located in Germany who had no idea who he was or about Young’s gold-winning Olympian status.
Since then, Young had made a full recovery and has devoted his time and efforts to promoting awareness of the need for willing bone marrow donors.
After his announcement in Chapel, there will be booths set up throughout campus where students can come and put their names on a bone marrow transplant list.
“We’re hoping every single person on campus will be willing to donate,” said John Alan Archer, graduate English student from Pflugerville.
Archer is a part of the team working alongside Jan Meyer, executive director of Center for Christian Service and Leadership.
Meyer and Archer are coordinating the event and are putting finishing touches on the relay and making sure everything runs smoothly.
The slogan they’ve chosen for the event is “Get Swabbed.”
“You’ll fill out some paperwork, and you’ll swab for about 10 seconds,” Archer said. “That’s how long it could take to potentially save someone’s life. So we’re really hoping every single student will be willing to set apart some time.”
These booths will be in the McGlothlin Campus Center, the Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center and every residence hall on campus. Each booth will have trained volunteers giving clear instructions to willing transplant candidates.
“We’re going to be having hall programs for the residents on April 20 to give the residents a convenient opportunity to participate,” said Anne-Marie Coffee, senior graphic design major from San Antonio and Morris Hall assistant director. “Morris and Sikes are planning on making this a major event for the hall, not only to encourage our students to take part in this program but to end the year off strong together.”
The booths will be set up until Chapel the following Wednesday.