Texas Automobile License for Life (TALL Act HB780) Can Save Lives in Texas and Across the Nation by Establishing a Statewide Recruitment Program
March 31 2021
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 31, 2021¬–National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match®, today announced its strong support of Texas Automobile License for Life (TALL Act HB780). The legislation will educate Texas residents about marrow or blood stem cell donation, including the need for donors from ethnically diverse populations, and provide information about the process of joining the national registry to help save the lives of patients battling blood cancers like leukemia or more than 70 other blood diseases, including sickle cell disease.
National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match is entrusted by Congress to operate the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and has facilitated more than 100,000 transplants, giving patients with otherwise fatal blood cancers or blood disorders a second chance at life.
NMDP/Be The Match is proud to operate the most diverse registry in the world, but more can be done to improve a patient’s likelihood of finding a matching donor on the registry. The chances of a patient finding a match varies widely based on their ethnic background. The TALL Act increases the likelihood that people in need of a marrow or blood stem cell transplant will find a matching donor.
Only 30 percent of patients battling blood cancers and blood diseases who need a marrow or blood stem cell transplant will find a match in their families. The remaining 70 percent of patients will search the Be The Match Registry for an unrelated donor.
In Texas, just 51% of those who searched the national registry between 2016-2020 were matched with a life-saving donor and receive a transplant.
“Texas’ sheer size and its diverse population puts the state and its residents in a unique position to be able to greatly impact the lives of those from underrepresented populations who need a transplant, including Asian, Hispanic and Black or African American patients battling deadly blood cancers and blood diseases,” said Brian Lindberg, Chief Policy Officer, National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match. “We are grateful to Rep. Oliverson for his sponsorship of HB 780 and the support of network partners throughout the state who recognize the impact the bill can have on helping us to raise awareness of an incredible natural resource we all have inside of us that can cure some cancers – our blood stem cells.”
The bill will allow for donor information and resources to be available throughout the state of Texas by establishing a statewide bone marrow donor recruitment program directed at registered drivers through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
To learn more about Texas Automobile License for Life (TALL Act HB780) and support the bill’s passage visit here for resources and background information.
About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers–like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.
Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.