Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15. 2013
Michigan Community Leaders Sign Up for Bone Marrow Registry
League President David Lossing Shares Inspirational Story of Giving
|Ryan Heinhuis, Michigan Blood Stem Cell Programs Recruiter, staffs the information table for a bone marrow drive that took place at the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference. Ryan is holding a photo of bone marrow donor David Lossing – president of the Michigan Municipal League and Linden Mayor.
LANSING, Michigan – Inspired by the recent bone marrow donation by Michigan Municipal League President David Lossing, officials from throughout the state signed up for the national Be The Match bone marrow registry Tuesday, April 9, and Wednesday, April 10, in Lansing.
Michigan mayors, council members and municipal managers were asked to register as prospective bone marrow donors with the help of Michigan Blood during the Michigan Municipal League’s 2013 Capital Conference April 9 and 10.
Lossing, mayor of Linden, shared his bone marrow donor story Tuesday (April 9, 2013) afternoon during his opening remarks that kicked off the League’s annual legislative conference.
“I signed up nearly seven years ago and forgot about it, to be honest,” Lossing said. “Then in the fall I was contacted and told I was a potential match for a man with leukemia.”
Lossing was confirmed as a match and went through the bone marrow donation procedure in mid-December. While he doesn’t know the status of the anonymous recipient, Lossing hopes his gift has saved a life.
“I’m a twin – I have a twin sister. But now I have a blood twin as well,” Lossing said. “He’ll have my blood type and my DNA. And perhaps he’ll get the urge to go into public service as well.”
Lossing was so committed to the program he offered to pay for the $25 bone marrow registration fee for the first 10 Michigan Municipal League members who signed up for the program during the Capital Conference. The fee to Michigan Blood is to cover the costly expense of the testing. In all, 9 officials signed up to donate during the Conference and several others pledged financial support and inquired about having future bone marrow drives in their communities.
“David has gone above and beyond the lifesaving decision to donate to a patient in need. He has so generously made an effort to share his story and inspire others to join Be The Match. Donors like David are the reason our registry continues to grow and save more lives each day,” said Ryan Heinhuis, Michigan Blood Stem Cell Programs Recruiter.
The registry is home to more than 10 million potential donors that have joined and stated a willingness to donate if called. Lossing is quite special because only about one in 540 registry members will actually go on to donate. Every new member could be that donor for a patient with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle-cell anemia, or one of more than 70 other blood disorders that might require a transplant for a cure. Only 30 percent of patients in need of a transplant will find that match within their family. The other 70 percent will turn to Be The Match for a donor.
“At this point in time, only four out of 10 patients that look to the registry find that match. This is why the great need to add more registry members is so pressing,” Heinhuis said.
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 and meeting the Be The Match health guidelines can join in the fight against blood cancers. Registering is as simple as a cheek swab and answering a simple health questionnaire. The entire registration process takes only about 10 minutes, Heinhuis said.
Those signing up after the first 10 being covered by Lossing will be asked to make a $25 tax-deductible contribution toward the tissue-type testing costs. The cost of the testing is actually more than $100 per person, but the expense is decreased to $25 per person thanks to fundraising efforts by Michigan Blood throughout the year.
For more information about signing up for the bone marrow registry go to www.miblood.org. For more about the League visit www.mml.org. For additional details from the League contact Matt Bach at (734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Be the Match program contact Ryan Heinhuis at (616) 233-8676 or email@example.com.
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.