UNC student who got bone marrow now helps save another's life

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:32PM
Carson Arthur once received a bone marrow donation. Now, his bone-marrow drives have helped save a life.

This weekend is ABC11 Together's Be The Match bone marrow drive.

We brought you Carson Arthur's story a few years ago - the UNC student has dedicated his heart to the cause after finding a match in his sister.

As it would turn out, a drive Arthur held in high school just brought new life to another, as a good deed done four years ago has blossomed into something bigger than they imagined.

Arthur felt compelled to pay it forward, after finding his match through his sister, as only 30 percent of people in need find a bone marrow match in a family member.

He's since signed up between 1,500 and 2,000 people to the bone marrow registry. Now, one of his first drives (in high school) has saved a life. His classmate, military service member, Andrew King answered the call.

"It's the easiest thing in the world to do," King said.

King donated his stem cells. Arthur and their high school teacher, Jan Tugwell, traveled up to Virginia to support him. King said it was as easy as giving blood. His teacher beaming when she first heard the news.

"I just hung up the phone and cried, and I get emotional now even talking about it," Tugwell said.

"To know what Carson received, and then to see him pay it forward, and to see somebody else that registered at the bone marrow drive, that he hosted, and somebody else go through that process - it's an amazing experience," she said.

It takes seconds to sign up - just a swab of the cheek and a form to fill out.

While it's free for you to register, every kit costs Be the Match about $100 to process, so while it may be easy to do, it's a serious commitment to follow through with if you're called upon to help.

"You have families that are relying on you every single day to come through," Arthur said. "The cure is available, but it's just available through you."

Thanks to King, a 62-year-old woman will have the chance to treasure her family a little longer - many, calling the 22-year-old's actions heroic.

"I do not see them as heroic at all," King said of his actions, "I see them as someone who is in need of something that I could very easily provide and I did so.

"I just want that person to live a better life, continue living."

You just might be the match for someone.
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