ALTON – To help increase the number of registered bone marrow donors by raising awareness of the need for lifesaving marrow donations, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, recently supported legislation to help encourage Illinoisans to join the bone marrow donor registry.
“For patients with life-threatening diseases or blood cancers like leukemia, a bone marrow transplant is often the best or only treatment option. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for patients suffering with these illnesses to find a viable donor,” said Bristow. “There are many potential donors out there that do not know they could possibly help save lives.”
Bristow supported Senate Bill 3062, which requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop and distribute information regarding a bone marrow registry, including:
- The need for bone marrow donations;
- Patient populations that would benefit from bone marrow donations;
- How to join a bone marrow registry; and
- How to acquire a free buccal swab kit from a bone marrow registry.
According to Be The Match, one of the most prominent registries in the country, 70 percent of patients who need a bone marrow or blood cord transplant do not have a fully matched donor in their family, and a transplant from a non-familial matching donor could save their life. Adults between the ages of 18 and 44 who meet certain medical guidelines can join the Be The Match Registry at https://join.bethematch.org/s/landing.
“This legislation is so important because it could potentially save countless lives in Illinois,” continued Bristow. “By raising awareness of the need and ways to donate marrow, we can help increase the number of donors, and I urge the governor to sign this measure when it reaches his desk.”
For more information, please contact Rep. Bristow’s full time constituent office at 618-465-5900 or [email protected].