LUBBOCK, Texas — A Covenant School of Nursing student who battled cancer is making it his mission to not just help patients as a career, but help others fight cancer, too.
Nick Keegan first got cancer in 2015.
“I went to the hospital and had a chest X-ray and it came back that it was cancer,” Keegan explained.
Keegan did chemo and was in remission until 2017, when it came back.
“So during that time I did chemo, got married and got set up to do my stem cell transplant,” Keegan said.
Keegan is now celebrating two years in remission.
He was able to use his own stem cells to get better, but not everyone who gets cancer can.
That’s why he’s put together two drives to get people registered as donors.
“We did the first drive at the school and out of the 240 students at the school I got 70 to sign up as a registered donor,” said Keegan.
It’s a simple swab to see if you’re a match.
“75% will donate stem cells and they get hooked up to a dialysis machine and take the blood out of one arm and cycle it through, take the stem cells out and pump it right back into their body,” Keegan explained.
“It makes us so proud as instructors to know that we have students here that are reaching beyond to try to find their passions early on because it means they’ll be amazing nurses when they graduate,” said Covenant School of Nursing instructor Kim Stumkard.
And Keegan hopes his story will inspire others to save a life.
“To sit there and look in the eyes to see that someone cared enough to give them a second chance of life,” Keegan said. “We like to call it being someone’s hero.”