Cameron Lyle, at age 22, may be just a young punk kid, but right now I think he’s got one of the biggest hearts in the world. Until a few weeks ago, Cameron, a graduating student at the University of New Hampshire, had a golden opportunity for a track-and-field championship. To put it into perspective: This was something he’d trained and competed for throughout his academic career, at both high school and college, with a string of medals to show for it. Cameron had an excellent chance at a coveted top prize… when he abruptly changed tracks. He gave up his once-in-a-lifetime shot – so that he could save a life instead.
Cameron, who had signed up with a bone marrow registry a couple of years earlier, got a call. The Call. He was a match for a man with blood cancer. The patient was barely older than Cameron himself.
Cameron didn’t even have to think about it. “I admit it was kind of frightening for a few minutes,” he told a reporter. “But I had made up my mind when I did the mouth swab and joined the registry that if it happened, I would donate. Otherwise, why bother registering?”
In fact, he was more worried about letting down his coach, Jim Boulanger. “You know what I told him?” Boulanger says in the Boston Globe article. “Do it. Donate. Sport is not bigger than life. Sport is a part of life…. In the end, he contributed to our athletic programs as an athlete, and as a student, and now as a person.”
Cameron’s mom has weighed in as well: “You try to teach your kids certain things: Be kind. Don’t bully. Give. Take your manners out of your pocket and put ’em in your mouth. And you always wonder if it sinks in… When he told me what he was going to do, I could barely keep myself together, I was so proud of him.”
Not only did this young man put his manners in his mouth – he chewed ’em up and blew bubbles with ’em. Way to go, Cameron.