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Be The Match

December 10, 2019

[Mark Williamson, Senior OL, Bone Marrow Donor] It’s kind of funny how life comes full-circle. [Rusty Plemons, leukemia survivor] You think it’s a death sentence when you get told you have cancer. [Mark] Two years after coming to William & Mary, I matched with a boy that was 18 years old that was fighting for his life. [Rusty] I didn’t have a lot of time to process it. It was just go go go, doctors in and out of my room a lot. That was my lowest point. [Mike London, W&M head football coach and bone marrow donor] Be the match is a program that allows you to identify people through bone marrow drives. Mark is the kind of guy that would give his shirt off his back to anyone [Mark] And just one swab of the cheek, I was given that opportunity to give him all that time that he deserves and that’s an honor and a privilege. [Rusty] When I first got diagnosed I was always worried about dying but after I found out I had a 10 out of 10 match, and they kept talking about how rare it is. I don’t think I had any more worries. [Mark] He also had so much life ahead of him. Meeting him is going to be a surreal experience that’s full of emotion, happiness, joy. [Mike] If you ask him, he would do it all over again because the end result is to have a happy, a healthy living human being standing right in front of you. [Rusty] I just want to hug him. I just want to huge the dude. I really do. [Mark] He’s going to join us out on the field and it’s gonna be a celebration of life. [Mike’] You know I always talk about there being hope for the hopeless. Players, student-athletes, wanted to make a difference, and they do that then you have a chance, and that’s all parents, who are looking for that one hope, is to have a chance. [Brandie Cobb, Rusty’s mother] This angel right here saved my baby. Without him, he would not be here. [Mark] I lost my best friend when I was 18 and life just came full circle and gave me the opportunity to help an 18-year-old boy fighting for his life It’s the biggest honor I’ve ever been
given, and it’s gonna be the biggest honor that I am ever given in life, and I’m looking forward to see him do great things.

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