Above the Call: Correctional Officer donates life-saving bone marrow to young girl

CO Nicholas Young works at Folsom State Prison.

Folsom Officer answers child’s call for help

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor, OPEC

Folsom State Prison Correctional Officer Nicholas Young went above the call when he donated bone marrow to help save a young girl’s life.

Officer Young said he was contacted by the Be The Match organization who was hunting for someone who might be a match for a 9-year-old girl who was having problems producing bone marrow.

Correctional Officer Nicholas Young donated bone marrow to a 9-year-old girl he’d never met.

“About a year ago … they asked me to donate some blood to see if I was a match. I turned out to be a direct match for her,” said Officer Young.

The girl was in need of help so he answered the call.

“I have an 8-year-old girl myself and it hits home and I know how the parents feel,” he said. “I would want someone to help me in this situation.”

With no time to lose, the marrow was extracted and flown to the girl for surgical injection.

“In November of 2016, Be The Match contacted me and said that the girl needed the bone marrow soon,” he recalls. “So on Jan. 6, 2017, I went to the University of California at San Francisco and did a bone marrow harvest and donated about a liter of bone marrow.”

He said it’s rewarding to know he was able to help.

“I would have donated anyway but it makes it a lot easier when you know it could save a life,” Officer Young said. “I was very sore for about two weeks after but it was worth it.”

He is a supporter of donating blood and marrow.

“I think that donation is awesome because there is a lot of people that need it and I’m glad that I could help out and save a life,” he said. “I would do it again if needed.”

Officer Young started his career in March 2005 at Kern Valley State Prison. In 2009, he transferred to Folsom State Prison.

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22 Responses

  1. Danny Condon Friday, March 31, 2017 / 6:16 am

    Very Cool! My daughter is currently battling a rare form of infancy Lukemia. Currently, she is going through chemo every week and is likely to need a bone marrow transplant. It is great to hear stories like this and know that there are amazing people around us willing to help. Much respect!

  2. C/O D. Baker Monday, March 27, 2017 / 9:26 am

    I worked with you at FSP when I first started. It doesn’t surprise me about you donating this gift of life to someone. You’re just that type of person willing to help others. My pleasure working with you back then and proud to say I know you. Thanks for being a hero!

  3. Tara Wednesday, March 22, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I am a bone marrow recipient, and I cannot tell you how grateful I was to get that marrow. Just know that the family will be grateful for their entire lives and you will be a part of their prayers and family forever. Thank you for donating, you made a difference.

  4. Dan O'Connell Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    Great job Nick. What a blessing to that young girl and her family.

  5. Stanley Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    Thank you Nicholas for this selfless act. Indeed you are a true hero and inspiration to others.
    What you have done to this girl is priceless. In your desperate condition, God will not leave you stranded.

  6. JodyClason Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / 10:24 am

    I love this story> As a parent you pray your children will be healthy & when you get the news that something is wrong your heart stops. I know I have been there! Then a hero comes along and does a totally selfless act and gives life to someone they dont know and this gift affects the lives of many. Thank you. May God bless you and your family.

  7. Luz Davis CVSP Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / 9:08 am

    What an amazing gift you gave, the gift of life! May God bless you always!~

  8. Mary Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / 7:30 am

    You are an amazing young man! God Bless you for donating to keep this young girl alive.

  9. Ronald Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / 5:35 am

    Way to go cousin. That was an awesome thing you have done. There needs to be more people in this world like you

  10. Retired C/O S.S. Arriaga Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    You saved a life and made a difference in the world. God bless you.

  11. Heather Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    So awesome Nick. I’m so proud of you. You’re amazing cousin!!

  12. Rick Young Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    This is my little brother. So proud of him. He’s a humble guy and I know he really doesn’t like the spotlight on him. But he would do this in a heartbeat for anyone anytime.
    Good job, Nick. Mom and Dad raised us right.
    Love you, Rick

  13. Sandoval Monday, March 20, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    Your awesome!

  14. Kenneth Emerick Monday, March 20, 2017 / 10:39 am

    Thanks Nicholas, you’re an inspiration to others.

  15. Laarni Ramirez Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:23 am

    A true hero! Thank you for helping and praying for you both.

  16. Christine Mckeehan, LCSW Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Wow, that is amazing. Thank you for sharing your story…..

  17. rod Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Wow! What a blessing you are to this young lady. Her loved ones must be ecstatic. Health and blessings for you and your family, brother.

  18. C/O Cummings Monday, March 20, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Outstanding!
    It’s refreshing to see – in these times of discord, separatism, selfishness and pain – that there are people who go the extra mile. Actions such as yours are what TRULY connect us as human beings. Your unselfishness is inspiring on SO many levels. God bless you and your family.

  19. Lisa Monday, March 20, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I was a donator in 2002 and was able to make contact with the person I donated to about 5 years later. Part of the process is that the parties are not allowed to have contact for a few years. Found out the process she had to go through in order to get the donation, it’s a very intense process. She was quarantined for 30 days and without my donation she would have died. I was her last hope. It was a very rewarding experience and I would do it again.
    I think everyone should take the time to sign up to become a bone marrow donor, you could literary save a life.
    Kudos to you.

    • Chris Haring Wednesday, March 29, 2017 / 1:42 pm

      I donated stem cells in 2008 and was never able to meet the recipient but recieved a letter from his family. It was rewarding to know he made it through and fully recover. This is a good organization and I wish everyone would register. Good job.

  20. kawatha Geter Monday, March 20, 2017 / 8:03 am

    C/O Young, bone marrow to save a life. How great is that.
    Well done. We thank you for answering the call. Not everyone is willing to do what needs to be done.

  21. Diana Viale Monday, March 20, 2017 / 8:02 am

    Good Job Nicholas. You are a true hero.

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