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Former Pointer honors late father with a lifesaving donation

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If you've been to a UW-Stevens Point Women's basketball game in the last four years, you've probably heard the name, Carly Cerrato.

Cerrato was a four-year star for the Pointers, but for as much she dazzled on the court, it was an unexpected email she received on the way to a game that gave her the chance to shine even brighter off it.

"I knew that when I got the email I was like this could potentially never happen again," said Cerrato. "I don't know if i'll ever be a match again, so I remember being super excited."

The email she received was from Be the Match.

Be the Match is a program that helps pair those diagnosed with life-threatening forms of blood cancer with healthy donors.

Cerrato had signed up three years earlier and when the opportunity to potentially save a life presented itself she took it.

Cerrato went on to donate stem cells to a man she would possibly never meet, but immediately saw a connection in.

"My dad passed away when I was in high school," said Cerrato. "I always link things to that. I think when I first thought about doing this I thought about what I would do for one more day with him."

Making it a donation that was much more than just stem cells.

"For me it was 5 hours in a hospital bed, but for him it could have been life or death," said Cerrato.

It was a fitting tribute to her fathers memory.

"The famous saying that we've said since he passed away is, 'live for today,' and I always try to live like that. I know he would be super proud of that, that I didn't pass up the opportunity to help someone."

If you would like to learn more about Be the Match, or see if you're eligible to donate, you can visit their website at bethematch.org.

Alex Stewart

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