INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Senate Bill 389 passed out of the House Public Health Committee with unanimous support. The proposal would allow the State Health Department to establish a bone marrow donor recruitment program and post information on its website to educate Indiana residents about the program.

Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement following the passage of his bill:

“This legislation is not only important for me but Indiana. There are about 18,000 people per year that need bone marrow transplants, and there’s a shortage of donors. A major issue is that people do not know that they may be eligible to donate, so establishing a bone marrow program to make it easier for Hoosiers to find information and possibly get involved is essential.

“SB 398 is personal to me because I lost a friend who wasn’t able to find a bone marrow match and ultimately passed. A few friends and I tested to see if we were a match, but sadly none of us were.

“Unfortunately, this is a pervasive issue in minority communities. While white Hoosiers have a 79 percent chance of finding a bone marrow match, Black Hoosiers have only a 29 percent chance of being matched. For Latinos, it’s 48 percent and for Native Americans, that number is 60 percent. Once I learned this, I felt a great responsibility to do something to provide a solution to this problem.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the House for continuing to move this bill forward. I’m hoping that it continues to maintain support and makes it to the Governor’s desk. This will be a big win for Indiana and Hoosiers who find themselves in need of a bone marrow transplant.”