MINNEAPOLIS - December 16, 2015
The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®, which operates the national Be The Match Registry® of adult volunteer marrow donors and donated umbilical cord blood units, applauds Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Doris Matsui (D-CA), David Jolly (R-FL), and Chaka Fattah (D-PA) for their leadership in obtaining unanimous passage in the House on December 16 of H.R. 2820, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015. The NMDP/Be The Match also expresses its gratitude to Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Al Franken (D-MN) who shepherded the legislation to passage in the Senate earlier this month. With passage in both legislative bodies, the legislation moves next to the President for his signature.
This important legislation reauthorizes the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program), as well as the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) grant program for cord blood banks, for an additional five years.
“We are pleased that Reps. Smith, Matsui, Jolly, and Fattah, as well as Sens. Hatch, Reed, Burr, and Franken, have demonstrated their continued support of the Program,” said Jeffrey Chell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of the NMDP/Be The Match. “The reauthorization of the Program is critically important to our efforts to expand the number of adult volunteer donors and cord blood units on the national registry and to make sure that every American who needs a transplant can find a match.”
The NMDP/Be The Match also appreciates the efforts of Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) in the House, and Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) to ensure passage of the reauthorization.
In addition to supporting donor recruitment, the federal funding also supports the Office of Patient Advocacy, which helps patients and their families as they navigate the health care system, and promotes ongoing research to improve patient outcomes by funding the Stem Cell Therapeutic Outcomes Database. During the last 28 years, the Be The Match Registry has grown to include nearly 12.5 million adult volunteer donors and 209,000 cord blood units donated by moms after the birth of their babies. Through international relationships, Americans now have access to 24.5 million potential donors and 622,000 cord blood units worldwide.
“Since the mid-1980s, the Congress has consistently demonstrated its commitment to Americans searching for a cure by reauthorizing and funding the national registry,” Dr. Chell added. “Through their unanimous support in passing the reauthorization legislation, the Members of the House and the Senate have reaffirmed that commitment.”
The C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, named after the late Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) who first established it, has successfully facilitated more than 68,000 transplants, with nearly 6,300 transplants this year.
About the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match is the global leader in providing a cure to patients with life-threatening blood and marrow cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as other diseases. The nonprofit organization manages the world’s largest registry of potential marrow donors and cord blood units, connects patients to their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant, 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. NMDP/Be The Match also provides patient support and enlists the community to join the Be The Match Registry, contribute financially, and volunteer.
To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.