(From the NCAA) Adam Bienstock started playing football as a freshman at Dwight Englewood High School in New Jersey. He then played as a freshman and sophomore at Ithaca College before deciding to hang up his cleats.

 Adam Bienstock

His career was similar to those of the hundreds of thousands who play college football and the millions who play at the high school level: He never played on a championship team and he never got carried off the field in celebration. As an offensive and defensive tackle, he never scored a touchdown (although he did get to carry the ball once during his high school career).

But he did save a life. And it was because of football.

In January, Bienstock completed the process of bone marrow donation. That process started last April when he was one of 350 participants in a “Be the Match” bone marrow registry sponsored by the Ithaca football team. Seven months later, after weeks of being tested, taking shots and preparing for the harvesting process, Bienstock underwent a seven-hour procedure that collected his white blood cells. The end result: a 50-year-old man suffering from cancer was given a chance at life after receiving Adam’s cells.

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