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Olympic Hopeful Seun Adebiyi ’09 Battles Cancer, Raises Awareness

When Seun Adebiyi graduated from Yale Law School in 2009, he thought his next biggest challenge was to qualify for the Winter Olympics as Nigeria’s first winter games athlete.  He studied his odds, chose the skeleton event, and began to learn the sport of sliding headfirst down a chute on a small sled.


But a recent diagnosis of two aggressive cancers—stem cell leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma—swiftly helped to change the young graduate’s priorities.


Adebiyi needs a bone marrow transplant, but he was soon to find out that, as an African American, his chances of finding a match were much less likely than those of Caucasian Americans.


Undaunted, Adebiyi held a bone marrow drive at Yale Law School in November and then headed to Nigeria to launch the country’s first bone marrow registry.  A third drive takes place on January 10 at the Yale Club in New York City.


His story has been chronicled in a number of media outlets, including NPR’s All Things Considered, The New York Times, and the Yale Daily News.


You can also read an account of Adebiyi’s challenges in his own words on the Huffington Post.