Jim Gleason

Information Specialist, Business and Financial Services, Student Business Services

Jim Gleason

Jim Gleason

Jim Gleason (’12) is something of a modern-day superhero. He’s a skilled archer. He regularly rescues students from financial disasters. And he has literally saved a life.

Gleason’s most recent do-good endeavor involved donating his bone marrow to a needy recipient in France. His wife recruited him as a blood donor;  six months later, Gleason found that his blood made him the best match for a stranger. On Feb. 13, doctors withdrew approximately 16 million stem cells.

Gleason insists his was the easy part, but on that day, he was in bed for seven hours with big vibrating needles in each arm, and on a high dose of muscle relaxants. The next day, he was back at work without any negative side-effects.

The process for the recipient, Gleason says, was not as easy. The recipient was subjected to radiation to destroy the “bad” stem cells in his body, then underwent a transfusion to receive Gleason’s bone marrow. He has been on several different drugs since to ensure that his body doesn’t reject Gleason’s cells. So far, the donation has been a success.

“I’ve always liked helping people. For me, it’s always been, ‘What else can I do?’” Gleason said. “So when I was matched to a person in need, it was an amazing opportunity that I wasn’t going to pass up.”

In the process, he learned something new: His ancestry traces back to France.

Gleason’s father, who had 15 brothers and sisters, set the example for helping others. “He was the big protector,” Gleason said. “He always liked helping people — with money, jobs, anything. I got it from him.”

Gleason continues this tradition of benevolence by assisting students at the Highlander One-Stop Shop (HOSS), and sometimes he can advise them away from making the wrong move for their own financial health. “It’s fun but hard,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s the perfect atmosphere and I love working at HOSS because I get to help people every day.”

To complete his superhero persona, Gleason is an avid archer. He and his coach, an Olympic level V instructor, want to establish a club at UCR, and he is looking for current students who are interested.

But Gleason isn’t content with just giving blood and archery lessons. Last week, he began working on his master of public administration at CSU San Bernardino.

What does he want to do with it? He wants to help more people.

“It’s always been about helping people for me, the most that I can. The higher up in the education system that I go, the more people I can help.” — Konrad Nagy

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6049
E-mail: konrad.nagy@ucr.edu

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