Beta Sigma alumna’s life-saving gift

In October of 2014, the Missouri State University community rallied around softball player Allie Alvstad who had recently been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a form of blood cancer.

One of the many events on campus to support Allie’s Journey was a bone marrow donor registration drive that involved filling out some paper work and a simple cheek swab.

“At the time, I thought ‘why not?'” said A’dja Jones, an academic counselor in the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Academic Achievement Center, located in Forsythe Athletics Center. “I had no idea how that one decision would be life changing.”

Alvstad eventually got her bone marrow transplant that December after two rounds of intense chemotherapy. Her recovery reached a point of success on March 21, 2015 that allowed her to move back to her hometown of Tulsa following a more than three-month stay at the Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. She has since returned to classes at Missouri State and rejoined her teammates on the Bears softball team for the upcoming season.

But for Jones, that’s where her story begins. A separate journey, but one rooted in the same generous spirit that gave one of her favorite student-athletes a second chance at life.

In November, Jones got an email from Delete Blood Cancer , the organization that coordinates blood cancer treatment programs across the country. The email indicated she was a match for a patient in need. A few days later, she received a phone call from the organization. Jones recalls the call caught her off guard. A little boy with leukemia needed a marrow transplant, and she was a match.

“It took me some time to process it,” Jones said. “I have a little sister who just turned 10, and I thought what if she needed something like this? I also have a cousin who was diagnosed with lymphoma at 9-years-old who had gone through a bone marrow transplant. So, it was easier to think of it through their eyes.”

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