Principal dies donating bone marrow to teen

Regional News
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A New Jersey high school principal has died after donating bone marrow.

Abery and Adam will be the main budding journalists who will gather for Westfield High School’s newspaper.

Every achievement, every loving memory, every quote that will tell as much of the story as possible about their much admired principal.

“We have been completely humbled by the responsibility.”

“Even if you never even spoke a word with him, his impact was felt the moment you walked in as a freshman or the moment you left as a senior,” Adam Holtzman, a student, said.

A huge task that listening to these bright young seniors.

“We have reached out to everyone we could possibly think of.”

They are well prepared to do. Doctor Derrick Nelson was a leader in Westfield and in his hometown of Plainfield.

He is already deeply and sorely missed.

“One custodian spoke about the fact, he looks at all of us the same. He saw all of us the same. So that respect came through,” Westfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan said.

Selfless, loving and loved are words spoken about his life.

Dr. Nelson fell into a coma earlier this year after he was donating bone marrow for a family’s child he did not know.

The child is more than 3,600 miles away in France and donated simply because he was a match.

Dr. Nelson dedicated his life to serving others.

“And somehow, somehow he also managed to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves for 20 years, and he served his country in the Middle East,” Dr. Dolan said.

Dr. Nelson is survived by his parents Willie and Juanita Nelson, a 6-year-old daughter, and a fiancée.

He is also survived by the thousands of young lives that he helped nurture.

“It’s really tough now and we want to commemorate and honor his legacy,” Holtzman said.

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