WBU grad donates bone marrow

November 2, 2013

PLAINVIEW -- Scott Langford registered with the Nation Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match, last year during a drive held at Wayland Baptist University for a local family. He was not a match for that family, but as it turns out he was a match for someone else.
Langford graduated from Wayland last May with a degree in Business Administration. Now, he works in the Wayland Admissions Office as an Admissions Representative. In August, Be The Match contacted Scott to inform him that he had been selected as a possible match for someone in need of a transplant.

“I figured the chances of being a match were pretty slim so I was surprised,” Langford said. “I didn’t believe it at first, until they called again after they sent the first email.”
After that initial contact, Langford completed additional testing to confirm he was indeed a match for the potential transplant recipient.

“I had to do several blood labs to figure it out,” Langford said. “I had to do a full physical, blood work, and more blood work.”

According to the Be The Match website, approximately 8 percent of people that complete additional testing are selected for actual donation. Despite those slim odds, Scott’s tests revealed that he was indeed a match. On Sept. 24- 25, Langford headed to Fort Worth where he completed his donation at the Carter Blood Center.

Langford donated using a method called peripheral blood stem cell donation, or PBSC, which is a non-surgical procedure that usually takes place at an outpatient facility or blood center. Leading up to the donation, the donor is given medication that increases the number of blood-forming cells in their body. During the donation process, those excess blood-forming cells are removed from the donor’s bloodstream and saved for transplantation. This process is usually done over the course of a couple days in 4- to 5-hour sessions.

“The donation process wasn’t the most fun or the most comfortable, but it could have been a whole lot worse,” Langford said. “It took a lot out of me. I was tired during the process and for a few days after, but it didn’t take too long to fully recover.”

Langford underwent the donation process for a complete stranger; he does not even know the man’s name. However, he will receive periodic updates on the recipient’s progress in the months to come.

“All I know is that it is a 63-year-old male with non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” Langford said. “I can contact him anonymously, but after a year if everything is okay we can exchange real contact information.”

Although only time will tell what the man’s prognosis will be, it is certain that Langford has provided hope for the patient and his family. 

Langford does not have any regrets about going through the donation process. In fact, he said that if he were to be a match for someone else he would do it all again.

“Once I knew I was a match I knew that I would follow through with it,” Langford said. “I couldn’t say no, and I would go through it again.”

Be The Match facilitated over 5,800 transplants in 2012 alone, and they do so by continually adding to their registry. For more information about how to become a registered donor, visit bethematch.org.

“I would definitely encourage others to sign up for the registry,” Langford said. “It can be intimidating but it can give a family hope and save someone’s life.