Colorado defensive end Derek McCartney won't practice this week, and for good reason.

When head coach Mike MacIntyre got to Boulder three years ago, he started a program called "Be The Match." It's a program that helps patients with life-threatening blood cancers find a match for a marrow transplant.

MacIntyre said every year about 350 to 450 on campus sign up for the program and it turns out that McCartney was a match for a patient this year.

"We've had four young people — one coaches' wife, two other players and now Derek — who have been matches and have been able to save a life," MacIntyre said.

McCartney will donate blood marrow this week, and it's been quite a process. He's had several recent doctor's appointments to prepare, and has been on medication to strengthen his blood platelets. He will miss two practices — not that anyone on the team minds.

"It's a testimony to the type of person he is," MacIntyre said. "Any time you've got a chance to save somebody's life, it's really neat. I told (the team) about it yesterday and they gave him a standing ovation."

Brian Howell:, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.