Alumnus Julian Trujillo (’19) from Coppell, Texas, recently made a trip to Washington, D.C., to donate bone marrow after discovering he was a match to a 16-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Trujillo said he became involved with Be The Match, an organization that connects donors with those in need of a transplant, after they came to the University his sophomore year. Since then, he has received a couple of calls about potential matches, but it wasn’t until this past summer that he received THE call. In August he was informed he was indeed a match and would be flown to the District of Columbia to continue the donation process. In preparation for his donation, Trujillo completed a health checkup to confirm he was able to carry out the donation.
“I was pretty excited just because you sign up hoping you get an opportunity to help out, but you don’t really understand the process of how people become matches,” Trujillo said. “Just to have the opportunity to help someone was pretty cool.”
Trujillo was originally scheduled to go in August but was delayed until September due to the pandemic.
“The morning of I had to show up around 6 a.m. I was introduced to the doctor who proceeded to tell me they do this procedure upwards of 200 times a year, and the facility is number one in the country, so that was comforting.”
The procedure took an hour and a half, during which the doctor retrieved bone marrow from Trujillo’s lower back. Other than a bandage covering the retrieval site and a sore throat from the intubation tube, Trujillo said he felt great and was allowed to go home a couple of hours later the same day.
Trujillo is allowed to communicate with the recipient through Be The Match, however, no information can be disclosed until a year after the donation date. Following his trip, Trujillo says it is definitely something he would consider doing again.
“At most, it is a minor inconvenience for me, but it can be life changing for someone else. It’s not really up for debate and completely selfish to think otherwise. You could be providing so many more future memories for thousands of people involved in the other person’s life. God sent his son to die on a cross to save my eternal life — the least I could do is give some bone marrow to try and help save her earthly life.”