Austin Jackson will face tough battles on the football field. But he already won one for his family last month when he donated bone marrow to his younger sister.
The USC offensive lineman returned to practice on Friday for the first time since the operation. Jackson’s sister, Autumn, has a condition called Diamond Blackfan Anemia and it just so happened that he was the best match for a bone marrow transfusion.
Jackson told the Orange County Register that he didn’t think twice about the procedure.
“There was no hesitation,” he said. “That’s my baby sister, you know? … I was thankful. It was really a blessing. It was really God-sent.”
Jackson was USC’s starting left tackle last season and is expected to continue in the role this season as a junior. USC went 5-7 last season and missed a bowl game, but Jackson was one of the team’s bright spots and will look to develop further this season.
The USC trojans kicked off Fall Camp today and Head Coach Clay Helton said "It was special" to see offensive tackle Austin Jackson return to the field after donating bone marrow to his younger sister pic.twitter.com/JxQZHXo4FJ— KTLA 5 Sports (@KTLA5SPORTS) August 3, 2019
He’ll take it slowly at first. According to The Register, Jackson participated in the first half of practice. He has spent the last few weeks recovering from the procedure, while Autumn was discharged from the hospital last week.
USC opens its season against Fresno State on Aug. 31.
"She's a fighter," Jackson said of his sister. "She's really tough. There's countless stories of stuff that could have went wrong, stuff that did go wrong, but she fought through it all."
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