A new bill will be presented to Congress that will protect donors jobs
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A bill is going before Congress to protect organ, and marrow donors’ jobs while they are out saving a life. It’s designed to give employees up to 40 hours, to complete all necessary medical procedures, but it will also give employers the option to make the hours paid or unpaid.
Hillary Husband is a leukemia survivor whose goal is to shed light on how the job protection bill will encourage more people to become bone marrow donors.
“If Rob didn’t show up and donate and the, and cells didn’t make it to me I had a slim chance of survival,” said Hillary Husband, a Ruston Leukemia Survivor.
Husband battled leukemia from the age of 14 until 21, and she went into remission three times. When her last hope was a bone marrow transplant, she says it took her a month to find a match.
“So I just remember praying and praying the night before that nothing would happen. I was hoping he wouldn’t change his mind and nothing would happen when he was on his way to the donor site,” she said.
Husband says, her donor came to her wedding last year and she was able to dance with the man who helped save her life. She says some minority patients are not as fortunate because they can’t find a donor, and each person is matched by their ethnic background.
“A white patient is gonna have a really good chance of finding a match because right now the bone marrow registry is predominantly Caucasian. I think for African-Americans and it’s less than 30%. It’s not fair but cancer happens to people all the time. Blood cancer is nasty, and it doesn’t care who you are and where you come from,” she said.
The National Marrow Donor Program will host a virtual meeting with Congress to present the bill. It will allow donors to have leave time so they can provide blood samples, attend appointments for their physical exams, and be able to travel to the donation site, without worrying about if they will still have a job. Husband says she hopes that if the bill is passed, it will encourage more people to become donors.
“So that’s what we’re hoping to bring to Congress and get their support so that that is a federally protected thing that donors don’t have to worry about choosing between their job being there when they get back, or saving a life,” she said.
Husband says, she will fight for this bill, so it will help patients find their match.
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