176th Wing master sergeant donates marrow to unknown recipient

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA -- "It is when you give of yourself," the poet Khalil Gibran wrote in 1923, "that you truly give." Few have lived out that sentiment as fully as Master Sgt. Duane Gonzales of the 176th Security Forces Squadron, who donated bone marrow to an unknown recipient in December.

Five years ago, Gonzales learned about donating bone marrow at a Family Day event at Warren AFB, Wyo. Healthy bone marrow produces red and white blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body, and waste products away from the organs and tissues; white blood cells and platelets are important to the immune system.

Bone marrow donors give their marrow to patients with diseases like leukemia and Hodgkin's disease. These diseases often require patients to undergo radiation or chemotherapy, which destroys their own marrow. Without donors, the lack of healthy bone marrow will eventually lead to death.

The program Gonzales learned about is called the CW Bill Young/Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program. Gonzales signed up for the program on the spot, but wasn't contacted until last spring, when a program representative called to see if he was willing to donate. Due to work commitments he had to decline, but was reengaged about the opportunity later in October 2009.

He took the chance and spent a weekend in Washington D.C. for a pre-check physical. The battery of tests verified compatibility with his bone marrow receiver, and Gonzales was scheduled for the operation. He flew back to Washington and donated his marrow Dec. 3, 2009.

"It made me feel good," said MSgt Gonzales, in reference to donating. The operation, he said, involved minor pain, "but nowhere near what people thought or said."

The National Marrow Donor Program, which works with the C.W. Bill Young/DoD program, calls this donation process "a lifesaving treatment." Food, travel and expenses are paid for by the program, or the patient's medical insurance. The donor never pays for donating, nor are they ever paid to donate.

"If you want to know what saving a life is, donate your marrow," Gonzales said.

For more information about the National Marrow Donor Program, visit marrow.org/help, or call 1-800-MARROW2. For more information about the C.W. Bill Young/ DoD Marrow Donor Program, visit dodmarrow.com, or call 1-800-MARROW3.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.