OSHKOSH - One college student from Northeast Wisconsin is about to save the life of someone that he's never met by donating his bone marrow.
"It's exciting," said Evan Kuehni of Oshkosh.
Kuehni is anxious, even a little nervous of what he's about to do: donate bone marrow.
"I'm really hoping that what I do will help this person. I really do. I hope they'll be able to recover. And hopefully I'll be able to give them 20 more years, 30 more years," said Kuehni.
Next Monday, Kuehni will go to Madison to donate to a person he's never met and maybe never will.
All he knows is that the patient is a woman from Wisconsin and losing her fight against a deadly disease.
"From what I know, they have leukemia, and for them to want to rush the process, as they have, I'm pretty sure they're in dire need of my donation," said Kuehni.
"When you're donating bone marrow, very often out of a list of 20 million people, you are the only person who could have donated," said Jon Dudzinski of Oshkosh.
Dudzinski donated bone marrow about three years ago. He is Kuehni's friend and is guiding him on this journey. It's something Dudzinski is very passionate about.
"Having that firsthand experience really helped bring it to life for me. It helped me realize that something so simple has so much impact on someone else," said Dudzinski.
One of the biggest misconceptions about donating bone marrow is that it's painful and involves long needles. But the procedure has been updated and it's now similar to donating plasma.
"And it was so easy, I figured if I could just tell people that. If I could just explain that to the students at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, then they'd sign up too," said Dudzinski.
Earlier this year, Jon helped organize a bone marrow donation drive on campus. Six hundred students signed up and his friend was one of them.
"And so, I was ecstatic when I found out about Evan being a match already. It really helps make this whole thing worth it. The tangible results, to show that yeah, what we're doing here is really helping save lives. It's really cool," said Dudzinski.
For Kuehni it's enough to know he's making a difference, even if he doesn't know for whom.
"To potentially save a life is more than I could ask for," said Kuehni.
If you'd like more information on becoming a bone marrow donor, click here.
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