SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford quarterback and current Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week David Howerton will miss at least the next two weeks of the season after donating bone marrow on Monday.
The Wofford football team and the Wofford Student-Athlete Advisory Committee partnered with Project Life Movement in April of 2015 to hold an event on campus to have individuals register their bone marrow. During the event, several hundred members of the Wofford community took time to register with a cheek swab.
Howerton received a phone call in August that he was a possible match for a patient. He underwent further testing, and doctors discovered that he was a match. On Monday, November 1, he anonymously donated bone marrow to his match and was back to campus on Tuesday.
“It was a long process, but I knew that I was doing the right thing,” said Howerton. “It was an easy decision to make when you consider how much you can help another person. I am sacrificing a little bit to help a person who is going through a fight for their life. I appreciate my teammates, coaches and family for their support during this process.”
Howerton, a senior from Asheville, North Carolina, has played in 16 career games for the Terriers, primarily on special teams. He saw action at quarterback against Johnson C. Smith earlier this season.
In last Saturday’s game against Mercer, he blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter. The score gave the Terriers a 21-7 lead as they went on to a 31-21 win. It marked the first career touchdown for Howerton, who was named Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after the performance.
Project Life Movement is a national organization that began in 1989 to increase the potential pool of bone marrow and tissue donors by testing and registering college students with a simple cheek swab. The organization is based in Charlotte and Wofford alumnus Dr. Danny Morrison serves on their board. Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly serves as a national ambassador for Project Life and more information can be found at www.projectlifemovement.org.
A bone marrow transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with leukemia, lymphoma and many other types of diseases and blood disorders. Prior to receiving a transplant, patients are treated with chemotherapy and sometimes radiation to completely destroy their diseased marrow. The donor’s healthy blood-forming cells are then given directly into the patient’s bloodstream, where they can begin to function and then multiply. For a patient’s body to accept these healthy cells, the patient needs a donor who is a close match.