Clark Endsley was a student at Freed-Hardeman University, a private Christian liberal arts university located in Henderson, TN, when he first learned of the need for blood stem cell donors from Earl Young’s Team in partnership with DKMS.
After hearing Earl’s inspiring story, he felt compelled to do the simple cheek swab to become a registered blood stem cell donor. Little did he know, he would have the opportunity to make an even bigger impact less than two years later!
Earl Young is a graduate of Abilene Christian University who went on to become an Olympic Gold Medalist. During his sophomore year, he made the 1960 U.S. Olympic track and field team as the second runner in the 4x400-meter relay team. Not only did he help earn his team the gold, but a world record as well!
Fast forward to September 2011 and Earl’s life took a turn for the unexpected. He went to the doctor for long-term cold symptoms that, just hours later, turned into a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. Now the race was on to find him a cure – one which came in the form of a blood stem cell donor.
On January 21, 2012, Earl was given his second chance at life by a stranger from across the globe – Christine Waag, his genetic twin from Germany. Christine had registered with DKMS and donated her blood stem cells to Earl.
In 2015, empowered by his journey to find his perfect donor, Earl launched Earl Young’s Team with the mission to “increase awareness for the need for more [blood stem cell] donors to register to potentially supply blood stem cells or bone marrow to patients in need of donors and to increase the number of volunteers who register.”
In partnership with DKMS, Earl Young’s team has registered over 22,000 lifesavers-in-waiting and today we celebrate 100 official second chances at life and counting!
We are grateful to Clark for taking the time to become a blood stem cell donor with DKMS and Earl Young’s Team. He marks a huge milestone in this partnership, shaping a future of more lives to be changed forever.
When asked what it meant to him to be the 100th donor of the DKMS-Earl Young's Team partnership, Clark shared, “It’s an honor to be the 100th donor and I’m glad there have been 99 before me because 99 people have been helped by this, and hopefully there will be 100 more after this.”
Thank you, Clark, and all the other individuals who registered, donated, and volunteered to make this milestone possible. We continue to work to delete blood cancer and provide more second chances at life for patients in need!