Senate passes Short bill raising awareness of need for bone-marrow donors

The Senate has unanimously approved a bill introduced by Sen. Shelly Short that seeks to increase awareness of the need for bone-marrow donors.

Short’s legislation, Senate Bill 6155, would require the state Department of Licensing to provide each driver’s license or identicard applicant with written materials regarding bone-marrow donation.

“This bill’s goal is to make more people realize the need for bone-marrow donors and to generate more interest and education in the national marrow-donor program,” said Short, R-Addy. “There is no greater thing we can do than to help save a life of someone who is in need of a bone-marrow donor.”

Short introduced the bill after learning about the moving story of one of her constituents, 10-yer-old Deer Park resident Jada Bascom. Soon after Bascom was born in April 2007, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer that starts in the bone marrow.

After chemotherapy did not work, her family sought a bone-marrow transplant, but out of 7 million people in the National Bone Marrow Registry at that time, not a single match was found. Bascom’s family widened the search to Europe, and a match was found in Germany. On Nov. 27, 2007, Bascom received the lifesaving transplant.

SSB 6155, which was passed 48-0 by the Senate Wednesday, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.