Football player matches with leukemia patient in need of blood cells through campus event

A leukemia patient is about to have a better chance at survival thanks to Oredigger football player Maximus Anderson.

The business junior from Kalispell attended an event co-hosted by the Montana Tech football team and the Be the Match Foundation in Spring 2022.


Photo: 5518 Designs

“It was a quick cheek swab,” Anderson said. “They told us the database we’d be entered to is there because people with blood diseases need help. It’s more complex than when you donate red blood cells. You need to have a similar DNA set. I really wanted to be picked, but knew it’s super rare.”

In Fall 2023 Anderson was contacted by Be The Match. He learned a 63-year-old man could use his white blood cells.

“I pumped my fist a bit,” Anderson said. “It was exciting.”

In the first week of March Anderson took injections to help boost his white cell count for several days, before traveling to Arizona to have his blood circulated through a machine for 4-6 hours to collect the white blood cells. Anderson says that there are two procedures that can be done to collect needed blood cells. The other, a bone marrow donation, is more complicated and can be painful.

“Do your research before you sign up,” Anderson said. “But I do encourage people to get signed up and figure out if you are a match or not.”

Head Football Coach Kyle Samson is the one who helped connect the team with Be the Match, and expressed his support for Anderson’s decision to donate.

“I’m very proud of Max for stepping up and being a part of this,” Samson said. “He is one of the captains on our team and a great leader for us on and off the field!”


Photo: 5518 Designs