MLS goalie interrupts season to become a bone marrow donor

Chris Seitz

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Chris Seitz, a goalkeeper for FC Dallas, registered to become a bone marrow donor in 2008. At the time he was playing for Real Salt Lake and their midfielder Andy Williams’ wife, Marcia, was battling a rare form of cancer. In a show of support Chris, his then teammates, and hundreds of others in the MLS community all got swabbed and entered into the registry.

Four years later, Chris learned that he was a potential match for a dying patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. Coincidentally, this news came a little more than a week before Chris’ Uncle John, who was diagnosed with leukemia, was scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant. Chris’ father served as the donor through a process called apheresis, a relatively simple procedure that is similar to a blood transfusion.

Just as both Marcia and Unlce John’s lives were saved through transplant, Chris now had the opportunity to make that possible that for someone else. However, because of the type of cancer the potential recipient had, the less invasive procedure Chris’ father underwent was not an option. Chris would need to undergo a surgical procedure that would allow the bone marrow to be extracted directly through the bone.

Typically, the donor recovers from this type of procedure in a few days, but being a professional athlete made the situation a little more complicated for Chris. As a goalie, he regularly needs to dive on those same bones that the marrow is extracted from, putting the rest of his soccer season and recovery in jeopardy. Despite the many obstacles, Chris knew that this was something he had to do, and after much planning and consideration, he flew to the East Coast to become a bone marrow donor.

Click here to read the full story about Chris Seitz’s bone marrow donation and watch his video diary documenting the experience.

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About The Bone Marrow Foundation

Founded in 1992, The Bone Marrow Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families by providing vital financial assistance, emotional support, and comprehensive educational programs. The Foundation is the only organization of its kind that does not limit assistance to a specific disease, type of transplant or age range.

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