Friday, September 3, 2010

Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act (SB 1304)

Cross posted from Team Matthew's Blog:

Call for HELP/ACTION!!! Please help out by passing this message along to your friends and family.

The California legislature recently passed the Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act (SB 1304), which is a great victory for its supporters who told their state representatives of this Act’s importance. Now, we need your help in asking Governor Schwarzenegger to sign this bill, which would require all California employers to allow paid leave to anybody who donates their marrow. Until now, work obligations or inability to obtain the necessary time off were one of the largest causes of donors being unavailable to give marrow. The legislation includes the following provisions:

  • All California employers will be required to grant an employee a leave of absence up to five days to donate their marrow to another person

  • Any period of time taken from work to donate marrow will not be considered as a break in continuous service for the purpose of his or her right to salary adjustments, sick leave, vacation, annual leave, or seniority.

  • During any period an employee takes leave to donate, the employer shall maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for the full duration of leave.

  • An employer may require an employee to take up to five days of earned but unused sick or vacation leave for bone marrow donations, unless doing so would violate the provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Please tell the Governor to quickly sign this important legislation, as for every person who called to donate but are unable to, there is a patient who is less likely to receive a life saving transplant. You can send an email to him at or contact him at:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Below are some possible talking points that you can include in your letter to the governor. Include them but, if possible, you should also make your message personal. Tell the Governor what marrow donation has meant in your life and why you believe that this legislation is important. This chance to share your story is a very convincing message to the Governor.

Talking points:
  • I support the Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act, SB 1304, because it will reduce barriers to marrow and organ transplantation by increasing the likelihood that a matched donor is able to donate.

  • Each year, 10,000 people are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma which can be treated with a bone marrow transplant.

  • Many patients with blood-related diseases search the national Registry of adult volunteer marrow donors to find an unrelated matching donor for transplant. An unrelated transplant may be their best and only hope for a cure, as most people do not have a matching donor in their family.

  • Matched marrow donors are often required to miss a few days of work to complete their donation and SB 1304 would make the decision to donate easier by eliminating the potential financial burden caused by missing work.