Be the one to save a life

Be the one to save a life

Mar 10
Amber Adams, Crop Sciences Marketing

As president of the Field and Furrow Club, Kris Heller is always looking for volunteer opportunities for members. Last fall, Kris learned of an opportunity that hit close to home and knew the club had to get involved. Field and Furrow has collaborated with Be The Match On Campus, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about bone cancer, to sponsor a bone marrow registry drive in memory of fellow crop sciences student Jon Hustedt. Jon passed away from complications of a bone marrow transplant – a situation Jon’s parents believe could have ended differently. Read Jon’s story below. 

In the summer of 2013, Jon Hustedt began his Junior year in the College of ACES with aspirations of becoming a plant breeder when he went in for a routine physical. Jon mentioned to his doctor that he had been easily bruising and blood work later revealed he had Aplastic Anemia and Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria. Jon immediately began immunosuppressive drug therapy.

In April of 2015, Jon’s condition evolved into Myelodysplastic Syndrome (pre-leukemia) a fatal disease if left untreated. Jon’s treatment team decided he needed a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible.

In June of 2015, Jon received a bone marrow transplant from a donor – the single match in a registry of nearly 24.5 million donors. Initially, Jon seemed to be on the road to recovery. The donor’s cells had become Jon’s cells, which meant Jon was on his way to healing. Unfortunately, things took a turn when the donor’s white cells started attacking Jon’s body. On August 29, 2015 Jon passed away from Graft Versus Host Disease.

Jon’s family feels that he may have had a better outcome if there had been more than one match in the registry. Research shows the younger the donor, the better the outcome for the patient.

Joining the Be The Match bone marrow registry involves a simple cheek swab. To learn more about the bone marrow registration and donation process visit or sign-up to attend event here. You could be the one to save a life.

Be the Match flyer