New bill adds option to donate bone marrow to state registration
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana residents are asked if they wish to be an organ donor while getting a driver's license. Soon, residents will be asked if they would like to donate bone marrow as well.
Louisiana is among just a handful of states that are making it easier to donate. Signed Monday by Governor John Bel Edwards, the bill adds a new marker on the drivers license.
"If we can get people to increase the visibility, awareness, and accessibility to be the match we can get more people on the registry," Dr. Leonard "Clark" Alsfeld said.
Unlike most organ donations during automobile accidents, it happens when residents are still alive. Once someone signs up, a test kit is set in the mail. Then you swab your cheek, and if you're a match, you get a call.
"We're a gumbo mix of people in Louisiana. And for those people that are fighting blood cancers like leukemia, one of the best ways to find a solution is through stem cell research," Senator Gary Carter from New Orleans said.
Donating bone marrow may sound scary, but thousands of Americans do it every year. It's safe, and it can save a life.
"It's like a blood donation type of environment, as opposed to anything that hurts or is scary," Julie Stokes from the Louisiana Oncology Society said.
The bill creators hope to use the LA Wallet to get more people to sign up. The measure officially goes into effect next summer. For more information on how to sign up, click here.
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