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Event News Enterprise featured Pace University student Miles Mendez in "An Athlete’s Lesson In The Game of Life – Miles Mendez Makes The Right Call"

05/22/2020

Event News Enterprise featured Pace University student Miles Mendez in "An Athlete’s Lesson In The Game of Life – Miles Mendez Makes The Right Call"

Even for a former Cypress high school football standout, Miles Mendez knew this was a challenge bigger than football. His number had just been called in the game of life. Mendez, now a freshman at Pace University in New York, was sent to be “safer at home” in Cypress for the pandemic. Shortly after settling in, he got an unexpected phone call. “They told me I could possibly save the life of a 57-year-old leukemia patient,” said Mendez. To do so, however, he would have to travel to San Bernardino during the worst of the pandemic to donate bone marrow. A woman representing the “Be the Match” donor program had informed Mendez that his HLA (human leukocyte antigen, was an exact match for a woman suffering from leukemia.At first, “I was a bit hesitant, really,” said Mendez, “I wanted to know how it would affect me.” “Considering the times we’re in now,” he said, “I needed a day to think about it.”Now a freshman at Pace University in New York, Mendez is a “long-snapper” for the football team.

“Miles is a really humble, hard-working guy,” says Pace University head football coach Andy Rondeau. Mendez is a starter on the Setter football team, said Rondeau, and the head coach says he often works with Mendez at practice. The Setters went 6-4 during Mendez’ first season. The coach was excited to learn of Mendez’ match. “This is awesome,” said Rondeau, “what a life experience for a team.” He said HLA matches are rare. Rondeau says it is a tradition for some collegiate players to sign up for the “Be the Match” donor program, at least with the teams he has coached. Participating in the donor program, he said, teaches the team they can be something bigger than themselves. “It lets them know they can really make a difference.”

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