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Umbilical Cord Blood Bill Passed Into Law

08 Aug 2007Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

New York Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol announces the signing of the Umbilical Cord Blood Bill into law by Governor Eliot Spitzer, Chapter 427 of 2007.

This legislation requires the New York State Department of Health to develop a program to make the public aware of umbilical cord blood banking and to develop educational programs about the benefits of cord blood banking.

Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol said, "I believe this bill may be one of the most important we pass for expectant families this year. Many young couples and growing families do not yet know how important it is to consider storing umbilical cord blood after the birth of a child-even though storing umbilical cord blood could be a lifesaver if someone in their family develops certain serious diseases."

Umbilical cord blood has shown great benefits to medical research because it is rich in blood stem cells. To date, cord blood stem cells have been used in treating many illnesses and disabilities including leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, lymphomas, inherited red cell cancers and more.

The stem cells in cord blood are very important because they make many different types of cells in the body, including blood cells that carry oxygen, fight disease, and help stop bleeding. The cord blood can be transplanted into people to fight disease because it does not need to be perfectly matched to the person who receives it.

Lentol continued, "The option to store cord blood must become better known. Pregnant women should be receiving information early so they can make an educated decision about whether or not to store their umbilical cord blood after birth, especially since there are now more than 70 diseases that can be helped through cord blood transplantation."

New York's legislation will help directly address study data published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, indicating that while many expectant parents have heard of/know a little about umbilical cord blood banking, only 14 percent of those people were educated by their healthcare professionals. "This legislation will help everyone, doctors and patients alike, get the information that they need to make the right choices for their children."

Lentol concluded, "I am very proud of this legislation. Families need solid, reliable information in order to determine what to do with their newborn's stem cells. This bill will help ensure that happens."

Anyone interested in learning more about Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells should go to http://www.cordbloodawareness.org.

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