“At the time I joined the registry, I didn’t really know what that meant. That summer I saw my dad get the transplant, I saw what happens to you and the magnitude of the situation.”

Zach was a freshman at Villanova University when he signed up to be a donor at a GITG drive on campus. “It was easy, I went and got swabbed.” A few months after he joined the registry, Zach’s father was in need of a life-saving transplant. “At the time I joined the registry, I didn’t really know what that meant. That summer I saw my dad get the transplant, I saw what happens to you and the magnitude of the situation.”

Four years after joining the registry, Zach received notification that he was someone’s life-saving match. Being called to donate was a “full circle” moment for Zach. His father had received a life-saving transplant and now Zach was able to give that same second chance at life to someone else in need. “When you find our you are a match for somebody, it kind of turns into a where and when, what do I need to do to get it done. It’s awesome how everyone responds like that!”

After some preliminary bloodwork and up-front preparation, Zach was at the center for his procedure, a bone marrow harvest. In approximately 20% of the cases, stem cells are collected by this procedure where liquid marrow is withdrawn from the hip bone under general anesthesia. “I wasn’t nervous or scared because I knew exactly what it was on both ends, so I was excited to be able to do this for somebody” said Zach. “It was a really cool moment.”

Zach graduated Villanova in 2019, where he was a captain of the Baseball Team and a Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative. He is currently an Operations Analyst at a real estate lender in Philadelphia. When he isn’t working or saving a life, Zach enjoys golfing and visiting the beach.

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