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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If You Live in California Your Help is Needed

If you've read the blog I created to help my cousin Tami last year, you'll remember Michelle Maykin. Michelle was a beautiful young wife, daughter, sister, cousin and friend to those who loved her most when she passed away last summer while fighting Leukemia. While a bone marrow match was never found for her, the efforts of Michelle and her loved ones helped over 18,000 people to join the National Marrow Donor Program as potential donors. So far four of those 18,000 turned out to be matches for other patients in need. With dedication and passion her mother has been working hard to continue the fight in Michelles name and with the help of a local Sentaor is very close to creating a new law to help people to become donors.

The "Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act,” will allow private and public sector employees paid time off for organ or marrow donation. Donors would no longer have to worry about the financial burden of their gift. We know that this will ultimately lead to more registered donors and more lives saved.
Please Sign the Petition

The following post is from Michelle's blog and was written by her sister Melanie on behalf of her family:

It’s been 8 months since Michelle left us and the pain is still raw. There is a huge emptiness inside me and I continue to grieve for what has happened. I hang on to so many of the moments I shared with Michelle, afraid as more time passes that I am leaving her behind.

We continue to honor Michelle’s wishes and are focused on helping patients so that something positive can come from this horrible reality. My mom has been working hard with political leaders and the community to continue helping those in need of bone marrow transplants. In February, Senator Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, CA introduced Senate Bill 1304, the “Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act,” that will allow private and public sector employees paid time off for organ or marrow donation. Donors would no longer have to worry about the financial burden of their gift. We know that this will ultimately lead to more registered donors and more lives saved.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

For SB 1304 to pass, it has to go through the legislative process. The next step is for the bill to go through the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee where it is reviewed and then voted up or down. The committee hearing will be held on April 14, 2010. Here is how you can help pass SB 1304 out of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and move it to the next step of the legislative process:

1) Sign our online petition to show the widespread community support for SB 1304.

Link for Online Petition

2) Tell your friends and family to sign the petition

3) Fill the room at the Hearing on April 14 in Capitol Building (9:30 am in Room 2040)

4) Spread the word by emailing friends and family with the above message to get them involved. Log onto your favorite networking sites and ask everyone you know to sign the petition or send a letter of support:

Senator Mark DeSaulnier
State Capitol, Room 2054
Sacramento, CA 95814

Passing this bill was something Michelle dreamed about and worried we couldn’t get done. We are now so close but we need you to succeed. With your help, we can save more lives and prevent families from having to go through what mine is struggling with everyday.

Thank you so much for all your support,

Melanie

Link to pre-drafted letter to be signed: Pre-Drafted Letter

Link to detailed Senate Bill 1304: SB 1304 Bill

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