Gardenhire proves to "Be the Match"

More news about: UW-Stout

MENOMONIE - When the UW-Stout baseball team conducted an on-campus bone marrow registry drive in November 2014, Blue Devil head coach Toby Gardenhire was not expecting his name to be called.
Four months later in March 2015, Gardenhire received a call that he may be a match for a leukemia patient in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Following a series of tests and checkups, it was determined that Gardenhire was a match and Gardenhire had the surgery to provide the bone marrow Tuesday, June 2 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Gardenhire returned to his home Wednesday and said the procedure went well for him.
"This is just an amazing process," said Gardenhire. "Not everyone can get an opportunity to save someone else's life. I am blessed to do something like this."
The Blue Devil baseball team conducted the bone marrow registry at the Memorial Student Center on the UW-Stout campus in conjunction with "Be the Match", a nonprofit organization that works to educate people about the need for bone marrow donors.
"I never really thought I would get called," said Gardenhire. "I am just happy to be a part of the process."
The bone marrow drive was done in support of Blue Devil baseball pitcher Hayden Bowe, whose father Darin of Eau Claire was diagnosed with Angioimmunoblastics T-Cell Lymphoma in 2008 at the age of 42. Over the past six years Darin Bowe has undergone a stem cell transplant, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and numerous surgeries.
"Most of the (UW-Stout baseball) players signed up," Gardenhire said. "It was neat that I got called for it."
The procedure to become part of the registry was straight forward and short. Participants filled out some paperwork and had a cheek swab taken.
One of the Blue Devil baseball players has also had some preliminary contact that he may be a match, but any action is still pending.
Gardenhire had gone through several physical examinations and blood tests over the past several months to get ready for the procedure.
"They (doctors and technicians) do a lot to make sure you are the right match," Gardenhire said. "They talk to you a lot."
Gardenhire said he does not know who the recipient is, but does know it is a woman located somewhere in the United States. While he doesn't have any information about the procedure for the woman at this time, he believes the transplant took place shortly after his surgery.
Gardenhire said he may get an opportunity to make a connection with the recipient at a later date.
As for now, Gardenhire will recover from the surgery for the next week or so. According to his doctors, his hemoglobin levels have dropped, a normal occurrence for the procedure.
"I am supposed to eat red meat," Gardenhire said about raising his hemoglobin levels. "So, tonight I am putting some steaks on the grill."