“It’s a fantastic feeling to know that you’re having such an impact on not only an individual’s life, but a family’s life.”
—John Murry, ’55
aving a life can be deceptively simple.
Stories of everyday people making huge sacrifices for strangers are more commonly heard, of course, for good reason. But that doesn’t strip the significance from smaller acts of selflessness that can, in the same way, mean everything to another person. Even in a community of students, staff and alumni as big as Rockhurst, it’s not hard to trace small acts and the ways they can have life-altering impacts.
THE CATALYST John Murry, ’55, had never heard of diamond blackfan anemia, until he heard the words from his son, Tim, explaining the doctor’s diagnosis for his first-born son, Sean, Murry’s grandson. Diamond blackfan anemia is a rare condition that renders bone marrow incapable of producing the red blood cells the body needs. That has meant regular blood transfusions for not only Sean, but the three other children who followed — Patrick, Danny and Timmy. “The odds of all of them being born with it are like getting struck by lightning,” Murry said. “Four different times.” From that day forward, the Murrys were a clan on a mission. After learning that anyone could offer to host a drive on behalf of bone marrow registration organization DKMS, family members began to use every connection they had to set them
Schroeder during the donation process in summer 2014.
up at churches, high schools and universities — including, in 2012, Rockhurst University. None have so far resulted in a match for his grandsons, but Murry said the effort has been rewarding nonetheless. To date, they’ve added approximately 37,500 people to the donor registry in 418 different drives, yielding 1,100 matches and 114 transplants. “It’s a fantastic feeling to know that you’re having such an impact on not only an individual’s life, but a family’s life,” Murry said. “And quite frankly, it’s brought our own family a lot closer.” Continued on page 22
The magazine for Rockhurst University.