A race to save lives
By Deb Silverthorn
For more than a decade, Amy Roseman has made a career of the Talmudic tenet that to save a single life is to save the entire world. After 11 years as DKMS’ U.S. central donor recruiter, Roseman is now continuing the effort to save lives as managing director of Earl Young’s Team. Starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 12, Roseman and Young will be at the forefront of the Third Annual Earl Young’s Team Golf Invitational at Las Colinas Country Club.
“I’m privileged to help Earl spread the message of how grateful he is to be alive and to inspire many to register to help the thousands of people who each year need a bone marrow transplant,” said Roseman, who led more than 1,750 donor drives resulting in 83,000-plus new registrants and 238 matches. “Earl and his team have registered more than 21,000 potential donors in the last seven years, which resulted in 93 second chances at life.
“When we first met, I came home and told my family I had to figure a way to work closer with this real hero who says two of the most powerful moments in his life were receiving his Olympic medal and, 50 years later his leukemia diagnosis. It really is an honor to work by his side,” said Roseman.
Roseman and Young first met at a 2014 DKMS bone marrow drive two years after his lifesaving transplant. Since then, the two have become “work spouses” dedicated to spreading awareness and bringing in new registrants to the bone marrow donor database.
Young is in the Abilene Christian University Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas Track & Field Hall of Fame. In fall 2011, the 70-year-old, who had maintained his athletic physique and strength, surrendered to sniffles and a cough that hadn’t resolved. While he was in the doctor’s office, routine labs were drawn; Earl’s body was no longer producing white blood cells.
A biopsy proved positive for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and he spent the next four months at Medical City Dallas being treated with chemotherapy — a stopgap, not a cure. He needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.
Within days of his diagnosis, in Offenburg, Germany, 44-year-old Christine Waag registered with DKMS, which has registered 40% of all donors worldwide. At her age, she would not have been accepted by many other registering agencies. DKMS accepts registrants to age 55.
“She was the only donor to match. Without her, I would have died,” said Young. “She donated on Jan. 20, 2012, and 24-hours later her blood stem cells were in Dallas flowing through me.
“Today, with no signs of the disease, I’m forever grateful,” said Young, thankful to spend years more with his wife, Nancy; his children, Stacey Mayfield, Grant Young and Meagan Young; and his grandchildren, Daniel and Stella Mayfield.
Young was born and raised in Southern California with a strong Christian faith . He attended Texas Abilene Christian University so he could run track. During his sophomore year, he was on the 1960 U.S. Olympic relay squad that won the gold in Rome, setting Olympic and world records. At the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he won two gold medals.
Earl Young’s Team, named 2023 Philanthropy of the Year by the Texas Nursing Student Association, focuses on college and university campuses, addressing students in the prime age range for donation success, partnering with DKMS for donor processing.
Every three minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer, malignancies of the blood, bone marrow or lymph system that affect normal blood cell production or function. The only cure for patients fighting more than 70 conditions is a bone marrow/blood stem cell transplant.
While some prospective donors are called within weeks of registering, for others it may take years. Some may match more than once in a lifetime and others, never at all. Because HLA (human leukocyte antigen) type is inherited, best matches generally happen between patients and donors of the same ancestry.
“Only 2% of people between 18 and 55 are registered and only 40% find a donor, which means six out of 10 people will die. Awareness is the key and people don’t have to die,” said Young. “I’ve watched Amy at work all these years; she’s nothing short of amazing. Together on our team and still working with DKMS, I know we’ll save lives.”
A Dallas native, Roseman is the daughter of Sharan and Lynn Goldstein and sister of Lee (Lisa Robinson), Peter (Michelle) and Bill (Stacia). She graduated from Episcopal School of Dallas and the University of Denver and spent her earlier career years in retail marketing.
She has been married to Michael for 29 years. The couple are the parents of Henry and Robert. They are dedicated to Temple Emanu-El, where she was raised.
Her profession meeting her passion, Roseman knows that every bit of what she does each day means someone might live longer.
“We’re working for a second chance at life. One that I respect and appreciate, a second chance that Earl is proof of and a chance we want, together, to make possible for others.”
For information on hosting a bone marrow drive, visit
EarlYoungsTeam.org. To register for the June 12 golf invitational, visit EarlYoungsTeam.org/