An Assignment Changed Kevin Walsh’s Life

Former CN8 personality Kevin Walsh, who is freelancing for Comcast SportsNet these days, will be appearing on Sirius/XM’s The Catholic Channel 159 Friday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss his experience as a bone marrow donor.

When Walsh was a reporter in Hawaii in the mid 90’s, he reported on a man diagnosed with Leukemia who needed a bone marrow transplant.   

An avid golfer, Walsh was assigned the story because the subject of the story, also a golfer, found a golf ball that said “Beat Leukemia” shortly after he was diagnosed.

“It was like the ball found him,” Walsh recalled.

“I couldn’t tell people to donate without doing it myself.  Although I wasn’t a match for the man I reported on, the man found a donor and is still alive today.

Then four years later, I was told by the Hawaii Bone Marrow Registry that I was a match for a 16-year-old boy.”

At the time, Walsh was an anchor in Fresno, California.  He traveled to Sacramento for the procedure.

Unfortunately, the boy did not survive (the bone marrow transplant success rate is less than 40%).

“It was devastating.  I hopeful that I would meet him someday and felt it was a gift that I was asked to save a life.”

To raise awareness for bone marrow transplants, the story was covered on Walsh’s Fresno station and Walsh returned to Hawaii to run a marathon.

“Even though that transplant did not work,  many people told me they registered as potential donors.  It is satisfying because it could possibly save somebody else’s life.”

Walsh was so moved by the experience, he wrote the book The Marrow in Me, which was completed recently. Walsh is looking for a publisher now.

For information about donating, go to the National Marrow Donor Program website.

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One response to “An Assignment Changed Kevin Walsh’s Life

  1. That’s a pretty amazing story — I hope Kevin is able to publish his book soon!

    One charity that does similar work the the NMDP is Gift of Life. What makes them really unique is that they are using social marketing (blogs and forums, as well as social media) to get the word out. I know you don’t focus on this kind of issue, but it would definitely be great if you found a way to help them spread the word.

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