College baseball player risks end of playing career to save child's life

USCB's Jason Boulais risks the end of his college playing career to try to save the life of a child

South Carolina Beaufort pitcher Jason Boulais could see his senior baseball season cut short, not by injury, but by choice.

Boulais is set to donate bone marrow in April via a surgical procedure likely to put him on the shelf for at least 20 days, possibly more, after finding out in February he was a match for a sick boy in France.

At the same time, his Sand Sharks teammates will be playing out the last of their conference games and preparing for the Sun Conference Tournament in May. All of which he might miss.

"None of the games or batters that I've faced have been in a life or death situation," Boulais told WJCL-TV. "To give someone back life is so much bigger than a game."

Boulais participated in a Be the Match Registry event in October on campus where his DNA was added to a worldwide database of potential donors.

"I told my dad about it, and we both just had a gut feeling I was going to be the one," Boulais said, according to the school's website. "Reality kind of set in when I got the first phone call saying I might be a match."

He was, and that was all Boulais needed to know to make the decision to go ahead with the operation.

"I remember the day he told me," USCB Coach Bryan Lewallyn said. "I was like, 'If you need me to drive you somewhere, just tell me where. Absolutely. You do whatever it is you need to do and you'll have our full support, 100%.' A lot of times with younger guys, you don't really think outside of yourself. When you're 18, the world is only as big as your little bubble."

After the donation of the bone marrow, it will be several months before doctors can determine if the procedure is successful.

Said Boulais: "I was happy to be able to potentially help somebody out, save someone's life. It's a blessing to have something I can be proud to do. I'm going to miss a few games because of it, but for someone to be able to potentially keep living is a lot more important."

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World