Each entered medical school to save lives. Each got the opportunity to try before they began seeing patients.
Ian Mallett and John Howard, both second-year medical students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, have donated bone marrow or stem cells to individuals whose lives were threatened by leukemia. A third M2 student is on standby in case the primary donor is unable to donate.
"I think a lot of people go to medical school because they want to take care of people and save lives," Mallett said. "It's a responsibility people have. This is an opportunity to save a life and you don't have to do anything special."
"That's the reason we're here," Howard said.
Mattie Coburn, donor center coordinator and recruiter for the Mississippi Marrow Donor Program, said the two are like most Mississippians who register. "Most donors who join the Registry are doing it to save a stranger."
In the 15 years she's worked with the donor program, she said she's never seen three students from the same class identified as possible donors in the same year or seen two who made donations in the same year.
As the number of students who join the Registry grow, she said it may happen more often.