Nightly News | June 26, 2012
>>> back now with a story of a victory for a woman, a mother whose daughters are facing a terrible fate, unless they receive bone marrow transplants. tonight after an uphill fight, she's changed federal law , and in the process, perhaps even modern medicine . an update on her successful fight tonight from our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman .
>> reporter: doreen flynn is a mother on a mission. her three daughters all suffer from a disease, a genetic disorder that destroys bone marrow and increases the risk of cancer. the only treatment is a bone marrow transplant .
>> as a mom, i'm willing to do whatever it takes to help make that possible.
>> whatever it takes, including changing the law.
>> you only need to register one time.
>> reporter: to encourage more people to donate bone marrow , doreen wants them to get paid. that breaks a longstanding law, that makes it illegal for donors to profit from their gift of life .
>> any family out there that has a sick child, parent, brother, sister that is awaiting a zoner, they find out they get a donorer, and all of a sudden that donor pulls out for some odd reason. that's heartbreaking.
>> reporter: to minimize the chance of heartbreak, she sued the federal government in a landmark case . the u.s. attorney general will not pursue the case with the supreme court , thus making a lower court 's ruling law.
>> this decision is a total game changer. right now, any donor, doctor, patient across the country can use compensation in order to get more marrow donors.
>> reporter: donors would receive not cab, but coupons for goods and services for as much as $3,000. for doreen flynn whose eldest daughter received a bone marrow transplant a month ago this is a sweet victory . but her fight is far from over.
>> i cried at fist, because i never thought we'd get this far. they were happy tears, and the twins still need a transplant. i also think of them as well. she really had no choice.
>> reporter: a victory she sees for her family, and those she doesn't know.
>> i feel very proud about it. i want to do something good in my life, i feel this is a huge accomplishment for that.
>> 75% of marrow donors can donate, just by getting their blood drawn after taking medication that separates the stem cells from the rest of the blood. it's easily, relatively painless and takes about three or four hours. the voucher system, devil in the details .
>> while we have you, a story i noticed today about the investigation into a possible link between stress and early onset dementia?
>> this is a pilot program that's going to go on in england. they're trying to figure out the learning between stress and depression, and whether those two things can speed up the development of alzheimer 's. we've known for a long time that there are triggers that can take a predementia state and kick it into alzheimer 's. with blood and saliva samples and find the stressors that may in fact make alzheimer 's start sooner.