Lucas Aplin, of the Pioneer men's soccer program, thought he was just doing a good deed when he became a member of the Be The Match registry. His good deed ended up saving a life.
Be The Match is a nonprofit organization operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, and manages the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. One of their goals is to provide marrow transplants to people diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.
Last spring, along with many other UW-Platteville athletes and students, Aplin took 30 minutes out of his day to put his name on the registry. "It was really easy actually. All you have to do is fill out some paperwork and have your cheek swabbed. Then you're on a worldwide registry," said Aplin.
Aplin was notified early Fall semester that he was a potential match, and shortly after New Year's found out that the donation was going to move forward.
"You are given the option to go through with the donation, but I never hesitated," Aplin said. "Being young and healthy I think it was my responsibility to donate once I found out I was a match."
Although there was a lot of buildup to the operation that happened earlier this month, the procedure just three hours and Aplin was released from the hospital the same day. He said the only side effects of the donation were being sore and tired for a few days.
"When I found out Lucas was a match I had no doubt he would go through with it," said head men's soccer coach Enzo Fuschino. "That's the kind of guy he is. He has proven to be selfless within the team over the last four years, and that great character is shown off the field as well."
According to Be The Match, on average, only 1 in 430 U.S. registry members will go on to donate – which emphasizes the importance of expanding the registry.
"I'm grateful we had the opportunity to get on the registry here on campus. If I didn't have that opportunity I may not have become a member – the recipient may not have found a donor," Aplin said.
To read more about Be The Match and find out how you can become a member on the registry, visit https://bethematch.org/.
By Korey Schroeder, Sports Information Assistant, UW-Platteville Athletics, 608.342.1255, firstname.lastname@example.org