FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield State Rep. Tony Hwang recently co-hosted the second annual Bone Marrow Drive at the state capitol.
Hwang helped enroll residents in the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry database "in hopes of creating a larger pool of potential marrow type matches that will save lives," according to a press release. The State Capitol Bone Marrow Drive goal was to get as many volunteers as possible to join the “Be the Match Registry,” according to the release.
"Hwang met Jon Decasanova, who was present to tell his inspirational and miraculous story of survival and physical recovery," representatives said in the release. "In the summer of 2012, former Eastern Connecticut State University soccer midfielder DeCasanova was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a life threatening condition in which bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells."
The disease causes the body to stop producing enough new blood cells, according to the release.
DeCasanova’s illness was medically remedied and is currently in remission and he is actively pursuing career as a motivational and fitness consultant, representatives said in the release.
Hwang co-authored and supported legislation in 2011 that required health insurance coverage for bone marrow testing, "which increased the number of people tested and added to the donor list -- and thereby increasing the number of transplant matches found, as well as decreasing the amount of time patients are on the list before transplant," according to the release.
“Our legislation initiative has made already made a positive difference in raising awareness of bone marrow illnesses and the insurance coverage of registering to be a part of the national bone marrow registry has resulted more bone marrow drives throughout Connecticut," Hwang said. "The result of this legislative effort has indeed saved lives.”