Measure to help connect bone marrow donors

7/2/2018, 8:52 p.m.

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, recently supported a measure to help raise awareness for the need of lifesaving bone marrow donations and to increase the number of registered bone marrow donors in Illinois.

“For people who suffer from diseases like leukemia and other blood cancers, a bone marrow transplant may be their only treatment option,” Connor said. “Patients with life-threatening diseases often have to wait extended periods of time before finding a match, but if more people register as donors, treatment could be provided much sooner to those in need.”

The proposal supported by Connor, Senate Bill 3062, requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) to publish information on the need for bone marrow donors and who would benefit from bone marrow transplants. DPH is also required to provide information on how to join a donor registry and how to acquire buccal swab kits in order to do so.

“Joining a registry is incredibly simple, but can truly save someone’s life,” Connor said. “Since most patients in need of a bone marrow transplant do not have matches within their own family, their lives literally depend on donor registries.”

Be the Match, one of the nation’s most prominent bone marrow donor registries, reports that 70 percent of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant do not have eligible donors in their families, and transplants must come from non-familial donors. Healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 44 who are interested in joining a donor registry can visit https://join.bethematch.org for more information.