Receive awards to improve bone-marrow donation awareness
Submitted by Kimberly Wirtz
Washington State Senate Republican Caucus
OLYMPIA – Sen. Shelly Short and Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber have been recognized for their work on legislation to increase awareness of the process of matching those in need of bone-marrow transplants with potential donors.
Short, R-Addy, is the recipient of the 2019 “Rekindle Life Award.” Rep. Maycumber, R-Republic, is the recipient of the “Seeds of Hope Award.” Both awards were presented by the Jada Bascom Foundation.
During the 2018 legislative session, both Short and Maycumber introduced companion legislation known as “Jada’s Law.” They collaborated to successfully shepherd through the Legislature Senate Bill 6155, which was inspired by a visit from the Jada Bascom Foundation and the story behind the law’s namesake.
“When the Jada Bascom foundation met with me, they had been looking for a supporter in the Legislature for seven years,” said Short. “After hearing how Jada had to receive a bone marrow transplant from a match all the way in Germany, I knew we had to act.”
Under this new law, Washington state drivers or individuals who have identicards are provided written materials that guide them to become bone-marrow donors.
“It’s critical to educate more people about the need for bone-marrow donors and to generate more interest in the national marrow-donor program,” said Short.
“Bone marrow is a gift one can give at any time to save a life. In addition, bone marrow is matched cell to cell with ethnicity. The rates of survival diminish with mixed ethnicity,” explained Maycumber. “I don’t believe anyone’s chance of survival should diminish due to one’s race. This legislation can change those statistics and save lives.”
SB 6155 passed both the House and Senate with unanimous support.