Bone Marrow Action Alert

JSPAN Action Alert - National Marrow Donor Program The National Bone Marrow Donor Registry Act, which provides federal funding for unrelated donor registries and related services, expires every five years and requires re-authorization. Last fall, the House of Representatives passed a bill (HR 3034), but re-authorization is slow in making its way through the committee process in the Senate. The matter is presently under consideration in the Senate Health, Education, Welfare and Pensions (HELP) Committee. JSPAN, with the concurrence of its Bioethics Policy Center supports the important work of the National Marrow Donor program.
  • Only 30 percent (approximately) of people who need a bone marrow/blood stem cell transplant have a family member who can be their donor. The rest rely on registries like the National Marrow Donor Program to find a matching donor.
  • NMDP has recruited more than 5 million adult donors and 30,000 cord blood units, which enables more than 2,400 patients/year to undergo a bone marrow, cord blood or peripheral blood stem cell transplant.
  • NMDP also conducts important research aimed at improving transplant outcomes and the lives of survivors.
We encourage like-minded people to fax or e-mail a letter to their senators and other key members of the Senate today. (Faxes, emails and phone calls are preferred over mailed letters that can be lost or delayed.)
Sen. Arlen Specter Fax 202-228-1229Phone (202) 224-4254
Email address: Arlen_specter@specter.senate.gov 
 
Sen. Rick SantorumFax (215) 864-6910Phone (202) 224-6324
Contact address: santorum.senate.gov
 
In addition to your own Senators, please send a copy of your letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Welfare and Pensions Committee:
 
Sen. Mike Dewine Fax 202-224-6519Phone (202) 224-2315
Email address: Senator_dewine@dewine.senate.gov
 
Sen. Judd GreggFax 202-224-4952 Phone (202) 224-3324
Email address: Mailbox@gregg.senate.gov
 
Sen. Bill Frist Fax 202-228-1264Phone (202) 224-3344
Contact address: first.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutSenatorFirst.ContactForm
 
Sen. Christopher DoddFax 202-224-1083Phone (202) 224-2823
Contact address:  dodd.senate.gov/webmail
 
Sen. John EnsignFax 202-228-2193Phone (202) 224-6244
Contact address: ensign.senate.gov/forms/email_form.cfm
 
Sen. Jack ReedFax 202-224-4680Phone (202) 224-4642
Contact address: reed.senate.gov/form-opinion.htm
(Note: some of the above senators must be contacted through their web sites, rather than directly by email. If your senator is not listed, please use the Religious Action Center link provided below.)

Suggested Approaches

Explain who you are
  1. 1. If you are writing to a senator from your state, make it clear that you are a constituent
  2. 2. If you are a transplant survivor or someone whose life has been touched by transplantation, state that. If you received a transplant from an unrelated donor, let the senator know that your own life (or that of someone you know) was saved thanks to the donor recruitment efforts of the NMDP.
  3. 3. If you are a medical professional who works with transplant patients, briefly describe how you have seen the NMDP benefit patients.
State why reauthorization is important
  1. 1. See the talking points above
Call to action
  1. 1. Ask the senator to take action to ensure that the important work of the National Marrow Donor Program is not compromised by delays in funding.
  2. 2. The survival of thousands of patients depends on continued funding for the NMDP.
Important: Be polite, brief and to the point. Angry or threatening letters hurt, rather than help. Keep the tone of your letter cordial, while stressing the importance of this issue. We’d appreciate it if you would copy us on your email or fax jspan@jspan.org or fax to 215-635-2554 Thank you!