Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey equipment manager Chris Garner underwent a bone marrow transplant Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in his battle with Myelodysplatic Syndrome, a blood cell disorder.
Garner, 32, a native of Rochester, was diagnosed following the 2009-10 season and completed chemotherapy treatment Monday.
According to the Chris Garner Support and Benefit Page on Facebook, the bone marrow transplant operation took about 45 minutes with Garner receiving 5.97 billion cells from an anonymous donor. Myelodysplastic Syndrome, as described on the Mayo Clinic website, is caused by poorly formed or dysfunctional blood cells. Treatment focuses on reducing or preventing complications of the disease, which has no cure. (For Facebook users, the Chris Garner page is at Chris Garner Support and Benefit Page.)
Garner joined the UMD athletic department in July of 2008, replacing Rick Menz, who retired after 29 years. Garner previously worked as a volunteer, assistant or full-time equipment manager for the St. Cloud State men, University of North Dakota women, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wings of the United Hockey League and Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.
To help defray medical expenses, an online auction is being planned for this fall, and donations are being accepted. Those interested can contact Kari Turkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (320) 492-3447; Jeremiah Minkel at email@example.com or (320) 761-6577; or by mail at Jeremiah Minkel, St. Cloud State University, 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, Minn., 56301-4498 with checks made out to “C/O Chris Garner.” Correspondence for Garner can be sent to 1765 10th Avenue SE, Rochester, Minn., 55904.