Genesee Community College Professor Donates Bone Marrow to Honor Son

Genesee Community College assistant professor of History, Garth Swanson has a lot to be thankful for. Two years ago his toddler son, Anders, underwent treatment for a life-threatening brain tumor at the University of Rochester’s Medical Center and he has been brought into remission and cancer-free for two years. Garth is showing his gratefulness and ‘paying it forward’ by donating his stem cells to a complete stranger.

He recently donated stem cells at the Wilmot Cancer Center in Rochester, NY and a 58-year-old man with leukemia will receive the cells. The Wilmot Cancer Center offers the only program in the area for bone marrow or stem cell transplants. Swanson, from Stafford, is familiar with donating marrow, as his four year old son did it during treatment for a pineoblastoma at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Doctors retrieved his cells early in his treatment regimen of high-dose chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery and later used the stem cells to jump-start his bone marrow production.

His act of kindness was recently featured on channel 13 WHAM News. The full story as well video can be found at http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Giving-a-Precious-Gift-to-Someone... .

Garth and his wife, Amy, joined the Be The Match Registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, a few years back in support of a girl from Elba in need of a transplant. He was contacted as a potential donor once before, but wasn’t a perfect match. To join the Be The Match Registry or to find the nearest marrow drive, visit www.marrow.org .

“I would love to encourage everyone to sign up for the National Marrow Donor registry,” Garth said. “It is my hope that we can hold a donor drive event at the College in the near future.”

For the University of Rochester Medical Center’s coverage please visit http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=2798 .


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