A few months back we told you about Salve Regina head coach Bob Chesney and how he has followed the lead of Villanova head coach Andy Talley in taking part of the Be The Match bone marrow registry.
Chesney, Talley and a handful of other coaches around the country, including Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer, have gotten their teams together to help out this great cause by hitting campus and the surrounding communities to collect names to add to the registry.
Well down at Rhode Island defensive backs coach Ryan Mattison decided to go a little further than just collecting names. After registering himself during the drive, he was found to be a perfect match for someone needing a bone marrow donation and decided to go under the needle earlier this week.
Doctors performed a bone marrow extraction on Mattison, who happened to be the third person found to be a perfect match from the football team's annual bone marrow registration drive. A senior football player and women's rowing captain were the other two donors.
Mattison noted that he was hesitant to donate when he first got the call, saying that he didn't want to miss any practice during the week, and was quick to credit Coach Trainer who made the opportunity possible.
"Coach Trainer eliminated that reservation right away. When I told Coach Trainer about the situation, he was on board. That put me at ease. I am committed to this football program and this team, but you are talking about saving a life here."
"I am a faithful person, and I believe things happen for a reason. If I don't get hired to coach here, this doesn't happen." Mattison added.l
With a game against Brown tomorrow night Mattison made it back to practice later in the week and although he's a bit uncomfortable, he says that he doesn't regret the decision to donate. Brown and head coach Phil Estes are another program that participates in the Be a Match program, having a player donate over the summer.
"The discomfort is certainly not enough to dissuade me from the decision. Knowing that there is a family out there dealing with the type of stress they have in their lives, it puts a lot of things into perspective. For me to have the opportunity to help somebody in this way, why wouldn't I do it?"
Classy move by both coach Trainer and coach Mattison. Well done.