On March 7, 2012, Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) issued a "Dear Colleague" letter
to every Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dear Colleague letters are messages sent between members of Congress to express their views and solicit their colleagues for support on specific issues.
The letter calls for a continuation of funding in fiscal year 2013 for the Bone Marrow Failure Disease Research Program at the Department of Defense (DoD). Since fiscal year 2008, Congress has appropriated a total of $16.95 million to this program, including $3.2 million in fiscal year 2012. The Bone Marrow Failure Disease Program is not an earmark; funding is not directed to a specific district or institution, but is awarded competitively.
If you live in the U.S., you can help by contacting your representative
and urging him or her to cosign the Matsui's "Dear Colleague" letter. You should do so promptly because the letter will be closed off on March 16, 2012
in order to meet the March 20 deadline set by the House Appropriations Committee.
Representative Matsui, whose husband Representative Bob Matsui died of MDS in 2005, has been a staunch supporter of those dealing with bone marrow failure diseases. More information on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program
is available from the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation