Oregon: Stop the Wait

Oregon Senate Health Committee Chair Laurie Monnes Anderson and Representative Health Committee Chair Andrea Salinas

The American public needs to be educated about the bone marrow registry. Only 2 percent of Americans are registered bone marrow donors/ Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation (PBSD). Less than half of the people who need a transplant find one. The legislation will educate people, increase the donor list, and more people will find a life-saving match.

Petition by
Rico Dence
Hartford, Connecticut

To: Oregon Senate Health Committee Chair Laurie Monnes Anderson and Representative Health Committee Chair Andrea Salinas
From: [Your Name]

As your Constituent, would you consider introducing a piece of legislation to increase knowledge about bone marrow donation? People from infants to seniors in their 70’s can benefit from bone marrow donations, yet Be the Match, the National Marrow Donor Program notes that only 2% of Americans are registered bone marrow donors. Furthermore, 70% of bone marrow donations or Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation (PBSD) must come from outside a patient’s family, so cancer patients can’t always rely on family members to donate their bone marrow.

Blood cancer patients can only receive a bone marrow transplant when they have no signs of cancer. They must go through chemotherapy until they are in remission. Remission is when there are no signs of cancer. The period of remission can only last weeks, so the timing of a bone marrow transplant is critical to saving a patient’s life. When a person does not find a match, they are forced to wait. When waiting takes too long, the family has a funeral.

The bill recommends the department of public health to develop and disseminate information about bone marrow/PBSD to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners so they can provide such information to patients. Be the Match the national bone marrow registry will provide the information at no cost.

The legislation will increase the number of donors because people will be educated about the bone marrow registry and will sign up to be on the bone marrow donation list. I urge you to introduce legislation to help save the lives of people across our great state, and the nation. There is no cost to the state, doctors, and potential donors; and most importantly it saves lives.