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Letter: Transplant Act a lifesaver for thousands

As the Nation’s Registry, NMDP/Be The Match has facilitated more than 105,000 transplants, and in 2020, despite the pandemic, facilitated more transplants than in any other year in its over 30-year history.

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In 1987, Congress made a promise to patients with blood cancers that they would have a pathway to find a potentially life-saving donor match. That pathway is through the Nation’s Registry, and Congress has entrusted its lifesaving operation to National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match.

As the Nation’s Registry, NMDP/Be The Match has facilitated more than 105,000 transplants, and in 2020, despite the pandemic, facilitated more transplants than in any other year in its over 30-year history.

My own life has been affected by this cause. As a caregiver for my son during his leukemia-battling bone marrow transplant, I can’t thank Sen. Tina Smith enough for supporting and helping to pass the TRANSPLANT Act. This vital piece of legislation continues the promise Congress made to patients that there is a single point of access for healthcare providers to find a matched adult donor or cord blood unit for their patients. NMDP/ Be The Match has a legacy of making the impossible possible, and I am so thankful that Congress has again provided their unwavering support to searching patients.

It may seem that nothing much happens in Washington these days, but the TRANSPLANT Act’s bipartisan co-sponsors, including Sen. Smith are true champions for the thousands of Americans living with blood cancers or blood disorders.

As a caregiver, I am extremely grateful for Sen. Smith’s leadership and willingness to build on the decades-long legacy that Congress has built in supporting blood cancer and blood disease patients by expanding access to bone marrow, blood stem cell, and cord blood transplants.

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Steve Dickes, Rochester

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