Letter to the Editor: Bone marrow recipient stresses importance of Life Saving Leave Act

By Hillary Husband, Ruston Resident

Ten years ago the Nation’s Registry of bone marrow donors saved my life, and today, I write to urge Congress to act quickly and in a bipartisan manner to approve the Life Saving Leave Act to afford more patients that same opportunity to survive.

At the age of 14, I was diagnosed with leukemia and after seven years of treatment and three relapses, I desperately needed a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately for me and thousands of other patients around the nation, Congress had the foresight more than 30 years ago to establish a bone marrow registry of potential volunteer donors. Through this national registry, I found a match from a person I had never met before, and he stepped up to save my life. However, too many potential donors are declining to donate because they cannot take time off work and fear losing their jobs. 

That is why the Life Saving Leave Act is so important. This Act would extend the same basic job protections that kidney and organ donors have to bone marrow donors. I am grateful that our Congresswoman Julia Letlow met with me on Capitol Hill to discuss why it is crucial to ensure potential donors can say “yes” to saving lives. 

We are fortunate to have Letlow, a true ‘Steel Magnolia,’ representing us in Congress. I urge her to continue supporting the Life Saving Leave Act, so more people in Louisiana and across our nation can have hope for a second chance at life.