A Story of Hope and Recovery

Senator Wagner

Please watch this video about essential workers on the front lines who are working every day to ensure Oregon continues to operate during this crisis.

These times can feel dark, but we must lean in and look for the light – the moments of hope and grace.

I’ve been incredibly inspired by the outpouring of love and support from friends and neighbors – as well as from all those showing up to support those on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

I’m inspired to share my own story of hope. One that started in 1999. As a fresh-faced intern at the Oregon state capitol, I participated in a blood drive and agreed to be included in the Be the Match program for bone marrow donors. I didn’t think much about it after that.

Until two years later. I got a surprise phone call telling me that I was a perfect match for a seven-year-old girl in Massachusetts fighting for her life.

So, nineteen years ago this week, I went in for an operation where they inserted a long needle into my lower back and withdrew bone marrow for a very sick little girl who had been in quarantine for months and whose prognosis was dark.

By the time I woke up, my bone marrow was on a plane to Massachusetts.

Two years later, I received a birthday card from that same little girl. Over the years, Chrissy and I have stayed in touch, and in February, we finally met in person. I introduced her on the floor of the Oregon Senate and told her story.

Yesterday, Chrissy sent me this wonderful message:
"Very thankful for everything you went through to give me a second chance at life and also very thankful I got to meet you this year."

As Oregonians, when we’re faced with hard times, we step up. Every time. So I’m asking you to step up one more time.

As we face a global health crisis, our blood reserve is running low. If you are eligible, sign up to give blood right now through the Red Cross.

You can also sign up to Be the Match for people diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

Stay home. For people like Chrissy. Children suffering from cancer are some of the most at-risk populations for exposure to COVID-19. Please stay home to ensure you're not unknowingly hurting those with serious illnesses.

I would like to share your stories of our communities working together to get through the coronavirus crisis. I know that there are so many stories of people helping one another to be resilient in these challenging times. Let's amplify these moments of solidarity, build hope, and get ready for the spring forward once this pandemic has passed.

In difficult times, we must rise to the challenge and do what seems the hardest thing to do right now – as much as possible, we must stay home.

I hope you will join me in doing your part to contain this pandemic. 

Stay safe. Be well.


State Senator Rob Wagner


Click the photo to watch my introduction of Chrissy and her story on the Senate floor.

CARES Act Summary

Last week, Congress agreed on a $2 trillion economic relief plan. You can learn more about the legislation in this article from NPR.


Distance Learning For All

Yesterday, the Oregon Department of Education released guidance to school districts for "Distance Learning For All." You can learn more in this OPB article and at ODE's website on coronavirus response.

Teachers and school employees are working hard to communicate with families about bringing school online. We will share more information about issues like access to technology, equity considerations, and providing supports for mental health and counseling as they become available. Thank you for your patience as these new systems are rolled out and refined.

Resources for Workers and Businesses

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

email: Sen.RobWagner@OregonLegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/wagner