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(Durham, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today honored the courage and sacrifice of University of New Hampshire student Cameron Lyle, who gave up the final meets of his senior season to donate bone marrow to an anonymous recipient.  In their meeting, Shaheen presented Lyle with a statement she submitted to the Congressional Record to honor his “tremendous selflessness and compassion.”

Lyle, a native of Plaistow and a four-year member of the University of New Hampshire track and field team, elected to sit out his final meets to donate to a complete stranger who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The donation has the potential to save a life.

“Cameron’s decision to forego his senior season to help better the life of someone he has never known demonstrates the strength of character of a wonderful young man,” Shaheen said. “His story is an inspiration to us all and a great reminder of what is truly important. Cameron represents the very best of the Granite State and has made all of New Hampshire proud.”

Below is Shaheen’s complete statement submitted to the Congressional Record:

Mrs. SHAHEEN.  Mr. President, I rise today to honor the tremendous selflessness and compassion demonstrated by Cameron Lyle of Plaistow, NH.  Cameron is completing his senior year at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and is a four-year member of the school’s track and field team.  He elected to forego his final two meets in order to donate bone marrow to a complete stranger who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Cameron Lyle is a graduate of Timberlane Regional High School and a standout thrower on UNH’s track and field squad.  He is a member of the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be The Match Registry, which he joined as a sophomore along with many of his fellow UNH athletes by completing the mouth swabbing process that is the initial step in registering to serve as a potential bone marrow donor.  Nearly two years later, Cameron received a call informing him that he was identified as a potential match for a 28-year old man diagnosed with blood cancer.  After additional testing, it was confirmed that despite incredibly small odds, Cameron’s marrow was a match.  Without hesitation, Cameron decided that he would give up participating in the final track and field meets of his senior year to potentially save another man’s life. 

The story of Cameron and the anonymous recipient of his bone marrow demonstrate the importance of bone marrow registries such as the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be The Match Registry.  These organizations can provide a critical lifeline for those individuals suffering from immune system, genetic or blood disorders.  In addition, bone marrow donor registries serve as a place where patients afflicted with these terrible diseases can turn in hopes of receiving a transplant.  While these disorders can be fatal, bone marrow registries give patients the hope of finding a lifesaving donor.

Cameron’s decision truly demonstrates the strength of his character, but perhaps most importantly, his selfless act will undoubtedly never be forgotten by the man who received another chance at life.  I know that residents of New Hampshire are extremely proud of Cameron and admire him for making such an important choice.   

Once again, I would like to recognize and thank Cameron Lyle for making such a powerful and life-changing decision for both himself and the recipient of his bone marrow.  I commend Cameron’s family, friends and the UNH and Plaistow communities for the support they have shown him in the weeks before and since his surgery.  His story is truly memorable.