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NH Athlete Gives Up Career to Give Gift of Life

(CNN) — A University of New Hampshire athlete is making a big sacrifice to potentially save a life. He is ending his career. so he can donate bone marrow to a cancer patient he has never met.

You probably haven’t heard of Cameron Lyle.

He was a star college athlete, but for the sport of shot put, discus and hammer, which don’t get the same coverage as football.

Lyle recently did something, though, that made him one of the most important people in a stranger’s life: Lyle donated his bone marrow.

To do it, he had to give up his college athletic career.

Bone marrow can be found in your hip and thigh bones. It has stem cells in it, which can form into other cells that fight infections or help blood clot.

It’s used to help cancer patients survive, but matching a patient to a donor is very difficult.

When Lyle was a sophomore, he put his name on the donor list. There was only a small chance he’d ever get called, but senior year, he was.

“When they said I was a match, they said would you like to proceed? And I said absolutely,” Lyle says.

For weeks after the procedure, Lyle’s not allowed to lift more than 20 pounds over his head. That’s why his college track and field days are over and he doesn’t know who got his bone marrow.

By law, that information’s kept secret for a year. All he knows: It’s someone who’s 28 years old, has leukemia, and needs his help.

“I mean, you can’t measure a life against really anything. When you have an opportunity to save someone, it’s like, you gotta go for it.”

Lyle’s greatest feat, made from a hospital bed.

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