Today, the Texas House State Affairs Committee heard from a young man who was born with sickle cell disease. Young Joseph, Jr. told the Representatives that his baby brother saved his life. And now, he doesn’t have to take medicine or get shots any more. (The oblivious hero slept through the hearing.)
And of course, I told about my granddaughter who received cord blood stem cells at 15 months old from an unrelated, anonymous little boy to cure her Kostmann’s nutropenia. That’s her with me, last August when we testified to the Senate State Affairs Committee.
You can watch the video at the Texas Legislature Online website archived files from 3/12/07, here, beginning around 25 minutes in. (Don’t miss the earlier testimony in favor of legislation to protect embryos and embryo adoption. Joseph and his family testify at 45 to 47 minutes.)
Representative Robert Puente (D- 119) presented his House Bill 709 was before the Committee and is a perfect example of the “common ground” that is possible for those of us looking for ethical ways to further (ethical, non-embryonic) stem cell research.
The Bill would require the State Department of Health Services to develop and distribute a brochure to educate expectant parents about donating and banking cord blood. We heard that there are free opportunities for all mothers and fathers to donate their child’s cord blood, if they have time to make the arrangements.
We also were privileged to hear from David Harris, Ph.D., of The University of Arizona. (His testimony begins at 30 minutes on that video) Dr. Davis began the first cord blood bank, and he told us that his children were the first to have their cord blood banked at birth.
I learned quite a bit, including that there are out of State public banks that will accept cord blood stem cells from Texas, and that there is a procedure to donate blood from a private, “family” bank to the public bank.
Here’s a few sites with more information:
HealthBanks (a commercial health information site)
Editing for spelling, formatting 2/21/13 – BBN.