The coolest thing ever happened last Thursday! Emily and Garrett, the LLS Boy of the Year, were presented on the California State Assembly floor as AssemblyWoman Beth Gaines presented a Resolution to make May Bone Marrow Registry Awareness Month. Woman of the Year Candidate Bernice Creager presented Asw. Gaines with the resolution as part of her candidacy for the LLS campaign, and Asw. Gaines accepted the opportunity to present it on the assembly floor.
Garrett’s family and ours met at the capitol early Thursday morning. Emily’s siblings, Garrett’s siblings, my mom, Bernice, Liz from Blood Source, and Cheryl from LLS watched from the Gallery; while Jason, Emily, myself, Garret, and his dad had floor passes. After waiting in the back and listening to a few others bills and resolutions, we saw Asw. Gaines stand up and be recognized. She then presented ACR 122 which would designate May as Bone Marrow Registry Awareness Month. She read the resolution, which recognized both Emily and Garrett, and the assembly members voted. It passed unanimously.
Then she announced that it was Emily’s 4th birthday, and all the members stood and clapped. Emily acted a bit shy, but she was pleased with the attention. Then the Speaker of the Assembly, John Perez, who was standing right next to us, motioned for Asw. Gaines to come over and asked to be recognized on the floor. He asked for all the assembly members to sing “Happy Birthday” to Emily. Asw. Gaines led them, and I couldn’t hold back the tears, as I thought about how special it was to be part of something so neat on Emily’s birthday.
Many assembly members came up to us after to shake our hands and introduce themselves. I was overwhelmed with their compassion and kindness.
When the session ended, all of us got to go back on the floor for photos with Asw. Gaines. And Garrett and Emily were presented with framed copies of the Resolution!
This whole Man/Woman/Students of the Year campaign is a really neat way to raise money for LLS, but it’s also proven to be an exceptional way to raise awareness. And we are privileged to be a part of it!
If Garrett or Emily relapse, they will most likely need a bone marrow transplant. And they’ll need an exact match. Sometimes family members are matches, but 75% of the time this isn’t the case, and the patient has to turn to the Bone Marrow Registry. Unfortunately, sometimes even then they don’t find a match. It is so important that people register (it’s super easy!) and are committed to going through with it should they ever be matched to a recipient. Two of our young survivor friends are here today because of donors who matched them, and we hope everyone who needs a match is able to find one. It’s not hard to register on the database, and it’s not a long or painful procedure should you ever match someone. And you could save a life!
If you’d like to watch the proceedings, the link below is a shortcut that will take you directly to the ACR 122 segment.
If that doesn’t work for you, try this: click on this link then scroll down until you see the Assembly Floor Session for May 1, 2014. Click on “video” and a new window will open. You can skip the first 35 minutes, and go right to ACR 122. Our portion is about five minutes long.
Finally, Bernice Creager and Asw. Beth Gaines appeared on Fox 40 this morning right before holding a press conference at the capitol for the resolution. Afterward they hosted a Bone Marrow Registry Drive in the basement of the capitol.