Luke Beckett, ’15, ’18 M.A., plays with his son, Corbin Beckett, on campus.
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THE DONORS In the five years since, the cheek swab that had taken a few moments of his day in 2012 rarely re-entered the mind of Luke Beckett, ’15, ’18 M.A. He had graduated from Rockhurst, landed a job in the University’s Office of Admission, gotten married and, mostly recently, become a first-time parent. Then the phone rang. “It was five years since that drive, almost to the day,” he said. “My son, Corbin, was born two weeks beforehand, so my whole world had just been flipped on its head. That was the very last thing in the entire world I had been expecting.” Beckett, now a college counselor at Cristo Rey High School in Kansas City, said he always knew if he got the call, he would donate his bone marrow if he could. In late 2017, Beckett underwent outpatient surgery to draw bone marrow stem cells from his hip. The core value of cura personalis ran through his mind. And if anything, his son only gave that feeling a new dimension, especially when he learned he was matched to a young boy. “I couldn’t see any other option but to dive right into the process, especially because I would
hope that someone else would do this for my son,” he said. Dustin Schroeder, ’16, said he just happened to be walking by the DKMS drive on campus in 2012, his sophomore year. He didn’t know what it was or how it worked. But he had five minutes to spare. Months later, an email came notifying him that he was a potential match. “There was this initial shock, immediately,” he said. “I had to look it up and see what the whole process was. But it was this opportunity you don’t get twice. I had to go.” Schroeder said the process of donating itself was easy — he was flown to Texas with a friend for the procedure, which involved drawing his blood to extract peripheral stem cells from it. And hearing a little about the patient the transplant was going to made him more than a donor — it made him an advocate. “Knowing where it was going was a big deal for me, and it really put it in perspective,” he said. “I always tell everyone how easy it is.”
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