Birmingham woman speaks in front of Congress for bone marrow transplant funding

Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 9:51 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Birmingham woman testified before Congress this week to help save lives.

As a two-time bone marrow donor herself, Dorothea Staursky spoke on behalf of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, asking for more funding to improve access to these transplants in rural communities across the country.

“It is very important for me -- one, because I am a two-time bone marrow donor and I saw the significance that me registering on the bone marrow registry had for my recipient and giving him hope for a healthier life and also allowing him more time to spend with his family,” said Staursky,

She hopes the same for more families across the country so Thursday she stood in front of Congress asking for a $2 million funding increase for the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program or the nation’s registry.

They are asking for a total of $35 million for the program in fiscal year 2024.

Some of that money will go to expand the HLA Today program which Staursky says sends testing kits directly to those in rural communities.

“We’re able to save time,” she explains. “We’re able to start that HLA typing very early on in a patient’s journey and so that allows the patient’s doctor and families to make decisions that will better impact the patient in a more time efficient manner.”

Staursky says funding will also go to help support those who do need to travel for a transplant.

She hopes the members of Congress realize that what they do can make a difference in the lives of people across the country.

To learn more information or join the Be The Match registry, click here.

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