New Jersey principal who died after donating bone marrow to stranger honored

WESTFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A beloved principal in New Jersey who died after donating his bone marrow to an anonymous 14-year-old cancer patient is being honored.

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine announced Thursday it is naming its Student Life Center after former Westfield High School Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

"We are proud to honor Dr. Nelson's life of selfless giving and education," said Dr. Bonita Stanton, founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University. "Dr. Nelson leaves behind a remarkable legacy as an educator and veteran. He is a beloved member of the Seton Hall family and we are deeply honored to memorialize his name at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine."

Nelson died in April from surgery complications after donating his bone marrow to the teen with cancer in France. His fiancee filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hackensack University Medical Center in July.

Since his death, there has been a significant public outpouring to honor his memory.

Thousands of people have signed a petition to have Westfield High School named after him.

Nelson has been nominated to receive the Soldier's Medal and he was posthumously named the Grand Marshal of the Westfield Township Memorial Day Parade.

In addition to his service in education, Nelson served our country for more than 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

----------
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.