W&J senior provides life-saving donation through Be The Match

Brendan Reddy ’18 donated peripheral blood stem cells in mid-January 2018.

If you ask Brendan Reddy ’18 why he chose to become a stem cell donor, the senior football player will tell you it was a no-brainer.

“Our football team did a bone marrow drive for the past three years through Be The Match, and I was contacted by [the organization] and told that I was a potential match with a 50-year-old woman with leukemia and that I could help change her life,” Reddy said. “It was an easy choice for me, because it’s…such a small sacrifice to do something that will greatly impact that woman and her family’s future.”

Be The Match is a global leader in bone marrow transplants, and their registry of donors has saved countless lives over the past 25 years. In mid-January, Reddy donated peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC), which are the blood-forming cells found in bone marrow that help facilitate bone marrow transplants. He went through two months of testing to determine if he was a match for the woman in need.

Reddy feels fortunate to be able to contribute to his recipient’s fight with cancer.

“Just a few hours of my time can add years—or hopefully decades—to this woman’s life,” he said. “If I can personally do something to help her fight her disease, I will do everything I can to get her back to her family and extend her time with them. I think it’s very important for people to donate, because if you or a loved one were in a similar position, wouldn’t you want someone to come forward and donate?”

Though the identity of the recipient is kept anonymous during the first year after the transplant for confidentiality reasons, Reddy said he’d love to meet her if she chooses to share her contact information at the end of the year.