Former Olympian Will Share His Story at Bone Marrow Drive on April 23

(LEBANON, Ill., April 19, 2018) — A 1960 Olympic track and field gold medalist—who survived leukemia thanks to a lifesaving bone marrow transplant from a donor match—will share his inspirational story during McKendree University’s annual bone marrow donor drive on Monday, April 23. The drive will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Piper Academic Center lounge on campus. A cheek swab is all it takes to register as a potential donor.

Earl Young won a gold medal as part of the U.S. men’s 4 x 400 meter relay team at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2011 and told he had three months to live, unless he had a marrow transplant. He was fortunate to have a match: a German woman named Christine Waag, who had registered just two weeks earlier. Because of this match, Young has been cured of the disease. His organization, Earl Young’s Team, partners with the DKMS organization to raise awareness for the need for more marrow donors in the U.S. by holding registration drives at universities and large companies.

He will speak in Room 222 of Piper Academic Center from noon to 12:50 p.m. Learn more about Young and DKMS at

DKMS is an international nonprofit organization, founded 27 years ago in Germany, dedicated to fighting blood cancer and blood disorders. McKendree University, which has hosted bone marrow drives since 2010, is the organization’s 100th donor drive. Carol Goplin, a representative for DKMS, will attend the event this year.