CEDARVILLE — In a few weeks, a woman with a rare form of leukemia will have a second chance at life due to a Cedarville University student donating his bone marrow stem cells.
Back in August, Andy Arreguin, an ROTC sophomore pre-law major from Kentucky, joined a stem cell donation directory inspired by the experiences of Dr. Jeff Haymond, dean of the Cedarville University school of business, who had donated stem cells to a young girl in Australia.
Arreguin was officially accepted into the stem cell donation system in mid-September 2017.
“The main reason I joined was the timing,” said Arreguin. “I’m in good health now, and I’ve always wanted to help people. I would love to think that if my family was in need, other people would do what they could to help them. I’m just doing my part.”
While walking to class in early January this year, Arreguin received an email saying that a potential match had been found in the system. He made an appointment to get blood work done and by mid-February learned he was the number one match.
Arreguin flew to Washington, D.C., Feb. 25 for additional blood work. He is now waiting for the official appointment on March 26, when he will be brought to Washington, D.C., for a whole week. Each day, he will receive a Filgrastim shot to increase stem cell production, and on the fifth day he will receive the final shot and go through a three-to-six-hour procedure to remove the stem cells.
“At times the process has been tedious,” said Arreguin, “but I’ve kept up my energy and excitement knowing there’s a person who will have a greater chance for life because of my donation. However she uses this opportunity for a new, healthy life, I know that God will use her. I’m so excited for that possibility.”
A year after the donation, if both parties agree, Arreguin will be able to meet the woman whose life he helped save.
“It would be a very neat opportunity,” said Arreguin. “I would love to hear her story and show her the love of Christ in any way I can.”
Throughout the whole process, Arreguin has been encouraged by Haymond and has, in turn, been able to encourage others. Already, several residence hall friends have looked into registering for the stem cell donation program.