Carl Vinson Senior Chief Donates Marrow, Saves a Life

Story Number: NNS080324-15Release Date: 3/24/2008 1:38:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nina Hughes, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A Sailor on board USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) played an active role in a life-saving effort this year by successfully donating bone marrow for a patient with leukemia at Georgetown University in Washington.

Senior Chief Electrician's Mate (SW/AW) Craig Baumann, who has been an active donor for six years, said it was very gratifying to know his bone marrow could help save the life of another person.

"I was just glad to have the opportunity to help someone in need," said Baumann. "Many times, it can take years for a patient to find a suitable match for a donor. But, it just so happened that I was a good donor candidate for the operation."

Baumann was contacted by the Department of Defense Bone Marrow Program in January and was notified about the potential match. Shortly following, he reported to medical personnel at Langley Air Force Base, where further tests were conducted to confirm the tissue match.

Once the results came back from Georgetown's medical center, Baumann said he agreed to undergo the operation to retrieve the bone marrow. Without Baumann's kind-hearted donation, the patient would likely have not survived his illness.

"It was a pretty painful process, but a little pain doesn't even begin to compare to the feeling you get when you know you're helping to save a person's life," said Baumann. "I would undergo the operation again in heartbeat, without question."

Carl Vinson leadership fully supported Baumann's effort throughout the process and arranged for him to be out of work for 10 days to complete the operation, begin the healing process, and recover.

Organizers of the event said Navy members play an active role in the bone marrow program, and historically have been generous with their support.

"Sailors are great donors," said Edy Medina, senior recruiter for the Department of Defense Bone Marrow Program. "We work with about 2,000 military members in this effort. Our organization is always looking for young and healthy people to donate, and military people are great candidates because they know the meaning of commitment."

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