Protect access to transplant for patients like Mark

Posted December 4th, 2017 by Be The Match and filed in Patient Stories
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Mark, transplant recipient, with his wife

In 2008, after feeling tired constantly and experiencing night sweats, Mark knew these symptoms were a red flag and visited his doctor. Blood tests revealed his counts were dramatically low – which indicated lymphoma. Additional tests revealed that Mark had mantle cell lymphoma, a very rare form of lymphoma that is classified as incurable.

A bone marrow transplant would be Mark’s best hope of keeping his disease in remission.

Mark started six rounds of chemotherapy and went into remission while his doctors at the University of Michigan searched the Be The Match Registry®. He had five perfect matches and fortunately, the second donor was available and ready to donate. Throughout his transplant journey, Mark said he felt fortunate to be able to focus on recovery and healing instead of worrying about his insurance coverage.

The cost of transplant can be up to $200,000. And most often, transplant centers are only reimbursed approximately $65,000 to treat Medicare patients. This creates an access barrier for patients to receive the life-saving treatment they need.

“Lymphoma can come back,” he said. “I visit patients who are in their 70’s and getting transplants. I have seen the bills without insurance – without Medicare coverage, people could not do it.”

2 Responses to “Protect access to transplant for patients like Mark”

  1. Peggy Shane says:

    Please co-sponsor upcoming legislation concerning funding for stem cell or bone marrow transplant. My husband has had recurring leukemia 3 times and is now in remission. He will receive a stem cell transplant soon and we will need help paying for it. We have Medicare and supplemental insurance but they won’t cover all the costs. Please consider co-sponsoring this upcoming legislation. Thank you.

    • Peggy Shane says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read my request. Please co-sponsor any legislation that comes up for funding studies and help for patients with leukemia or lymphoma to get stem cell transplant. Thank you.

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