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Gaines Bone Marrow Awareness Month Resolution Wins Assembly Passage

Assemblywoman Beth Gaines joins the Heisinger and Love families to commemorate May as Bone Marrow Awareness Month. From Left to Right: Kevin Heisinger (father), Garrett Heisinger (child), Jason Love (father), Emily Love (child), Christina Love (mother), Speaker John Perez and Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin. (Photo Credit: Christian Koszka, Assembly Republican Caucus)

Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Roseville, in partnership with Be the Match, presented Assembly Concurrent Resolution 122, designating May as Bone Marrow Registry Awareness Month in conjunction with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. ACR 122 was approved by the Assembly on a bipartisan vote.

The need for more bone marrow donors was brought to Gaines’ attention through local LLS Woman of the Year Candidate Bernice Jimenez Creager, who campaigns to raise funds and awareness for the issue in memory of her cousin Danny, who passed away from Leukemia at 17.

“While cancer impacts all of us, blood cancers such as leukemia are particularly deadly for minority communities due to the small number of individuals registered to donate bone marrow,” said Creager.

According to LLS, more than 12,000 patients in the U.S are diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukemia each year. For many, a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor is their only hope for a cure.

“About 70% of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in their family,” Gaines said. “These people depend on organizations like Be the Match to receive the transplants they need.”

Among the many children diagnosed with Leukemia are local LLS Girl and Boy of the Year Emily Love and Garrett Heisinger. Both were diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at a very young age.

“Unfortunately, leukemia continues to be the primary cancer responsible for deaths in children under the age of 20,” Gaines said. “That is why I am proud to partner with Emily and Garrett and to champion their cause.”

“ACR 122 is will increase awareness about Bone Marrow donor registration,” Gaines said, “as well as the extreme need for donors with minority backgrounds.”

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