PORTLAND – A Portland man’s curiosity over a nursing student project at the University of Portland led to him saving the life of a stranger who needed a bone marrow transplant.
Thomas Ank, a network engineer at the University, happened to walk by a group of nursing students who were trying to get people to join the bone marrow registry.
The nursing students weren't having much luck, so Ank decided to help out and register. Soon after he was tested, Ank learned that he had a very rare bone marrow type.
Then in March, he was told that someone in California battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma needed the rare bone marrow to survive. Ank quickly decided to become a donor.
“This has been an opportunity for me to actually show my kids that sometimes you have to go out of your way to help somebody, but it's the right thing to do,” he said.
Ank had to spend about a week in California for the procedure. His recipient is now doing well.
Ank is using his story to encourage others to join the bone marrow registry.