Athlete's selfless act

touched reader

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In the midst of today’s social and political tumult, the heartwarming RTD story of the much-needed bone marrow donation by a College of William & Mary football player brought tears to my eyes.

To merely call this article “uplifting” doesn’t do it justice. First, one reads that in 2014 Madeline Montgomery, a compassionate Hampton Roads Academy student, daughter of a former W&M football player, encouraged The Tribe football team to become part of the national registry of potential bone marrow donors, which they did.

Then in 2016 Mark Williamson, 23 year-old Tribe football team captain, found that he was a donor match for Rusty Plemons, an 18-year-old high school junior from Ohio who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Brandie Cobb, Rusty’s mother, under extreme emotional and financial stress, sold her home to be close to Ohio State University hospital, where Rusty was undergoing treatments. While at OSU, Rusty suffered multiple relapses and repeated chemotherapy discomfort, indicative of his desperate need for a transplant.

Williamson never hesitated to donate his bone marrow, although this was a complicated procedure that would likely interfere with his 2016 football schedule.

Thanks to his “angel” Mark Williamson, Rusty is now miraculously able to lead a normal life. In the accompanying RTD photo, W&M football coach Mike London stands with Rusty’s mother, firmly supportive and understandably pleased and proud to have his team so well represented in this lifesaving endeavor. Thank you, Paul Woody, for brightening my day and making readers cognizant of the difference one unselfish person can make in another person’s life.

Bev Baker.


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