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Heroic college athlete puts aside promising sports career to help save a stranger’s life

Imagine yourself trapped between two doors. You heard a knock coming from each doors, but you can only open the door for one of them. The door from your left says ‘I am the opportunity you have been waiting for. Your one shot in achieving your ambition.’ 

While the door from your right says ‘I have a problem, and you are the only one who can save me. Help!’ Again, keep in mind that you can only open one door. Which of them will you welcome?

Having a hard time to choose which door will you open? Do you need a minute to think about it? If yes, will 5 minutes suffice? or will you be needing an hour before you arrive at an answer?

Cameron Lyle, a senior student athlete of the University of New Hampshire in 2013, found himself having to choose between the two. What made him different from some of you is that he did not ask for more time to think.

Without missing a heartbeat, he opened his door to the one who badly needed his help. Even if doing so means closing his door to one of his dreams forever.

The selfless college athlete signed up to be a bone marrow donor back in 2011, he was still a sophomore student back then. He had almost forgotten about it when days before his final shot to win a gold medal, he was informed that his bone marrow was a 100 percent match to a person with leukemia who only has 6 months to live.

Cameron Lyle who was set to compete in the Division 1 America East Conference championships and the legendary Penn Relays, one of the most celebrated collegiate track and field competition in the country, did not think twice about it.

He said agreed to donate his bone marrow, even if doing so meant kissing his college athletic career goodbye.

“I was surprised, I was pretty happy. I said yes right away. And then afterwards I thought about everything that meant giving up, but I never had a second thought about donating. If I had said no, he wouldn’t have had a match.” 

The selfless track and field athlete shared in one of his interviews. According to Cameron, the only thing that concerned him is what would his coach think about his last minute decision.

His coach, Jim Boulanger, called him into the principal’s office and informed his coach about his decision. Fortunately, coach Jim truly understood the gravity of Cameron’s decision.

“You either do 12 throws at the conference championships, or you give another man a few more years.” Coach Jim supported his promising athlete’s decision. In the 30 years career of Cameron’s coach, Cameron was the only second athlete who agreed to donate his bone marrow.

Cameron underwent surgery the weekend after he made his decision at Massachusetts General Hosipital, in Boston last 2013. The Bone Marrow extract procedure lasted for two hours, the process involved having to insert a needle in the athlete’s hip, collecting two liters of bone marrow to be given to the man who has only six months left to live.

This left Cameron unable to lift more than 20 pounds over his head until he recovers as well. Leaving him having to retire in his college athletics career earlier than he originally planned.

A day after the procedure, Cameron noted how he felt extemely sore and weak, never having felt so much pain in his lower back before. Good thing his equally supportive girlfriend was there to help him get dressed for a couple of days.

“You try to teach your kids certain things: Be kind. Don’t bully. Give. Take your manners out of your pocket and put ’em in your mouth. And you always wonder if it sinks in,” Christine Sciacca, Cameron’s supportive and loving mother said, proud of her selfless son. “It did with Cam. He gets it. And when he told me what he was going to do, I could barely keep myself together I was so proud of him.”

“He’s my hero” ‘ Cameron’s mother added. It’s heartwarming and heart-melting to know how much goodness our world still has to offer. Not everyone can give up their dreams in order to save the life of a stranger, good thing there are people like Cameron Lyle who still exists.

Watch the video below to see for yourself how an athlete, selflessly sacrificed his last shot in joining a prestigious competition, the competition he had prepared 4 years of his student athlete life for, in exchange of extending the life of a stranger.

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