One Dolphins player gave up a physical piece of himself to help others.
Miami Dolphins’ Austin Jackson has two jobs: one on the field and one off the field helping raise awareness about bone marrow transplants.
At the Dolphins training camp, there’s a push to make people aware they can register to help save a life.
“Two years ago I became a bone marrow transplant donor for my little sister,” said Jackson.
The offensive tackle helped his younger sister Autumn who suffered from a rare blood disorder.
She needed blood transfusions every three weeks for five years.
Jackson’s bone marrow was a perfect match for Autumn.
“I just want to start getting the word out, you know, talking about it,” he said. “I went through it in the middle of a football season, came back and still had a great season. It’s not as bad as you think. It’s such an easy way to save a life.”
Jackson and the Dolphins are encouraging people to register to see if they are a match.
Only 30% of patients with blood cancers or blood disorders have a matching donor in their family.
Dolphins community relations manager Ashley Gillis is in the registry.
“My best friend was battling leukemia,” she said. “Being in the registry, I thought, ‘Hey, maybe I’ll be a match to give you more life’ and she actually did receive a transplant. It worked for nine months but then, unfortunately, the leukemia came back. It’s just important to give a few seconds, some blood or marrow, just to save someone’s life and give them some additional time here.”
It’s simple to register: you take two swabs out of an envelope, swab them against each cheek in your mouth for about five seconds, put them back in the envelope and send the envelope off. It’s painless and that easy.
Jackson believes as an NFL player, he can encourage fans to join the national registry.
“He’s got a platform to speak to you guys and reach all the Miami Dolphins fans and football fans watch so I think it’s great that he’s doing that,” said head coach Brian Flores. “He has my full support to do it.”
Jackson’s sister is doing well.
“She’s made a full recovery,” said Jackson. “She went from going to the doctor once every two weeks to like never so that’s great. She’s not the only one though! There’s a lot more kids like that and that’s what I really want to help, those kids too by getting the word out.”
Jackson is truly a role model in bringing to light the importance of bone marrow transplants.
For more information text UNITE21 to 61474.
Leave a Reply