Medical Association of Georgia

Dear Senator Shafer:

The Medical Association of Georgia supports Senate Bill 148, the Saving the Cure Act.

We recognize the scientific and medical value of umbilical cord blood and other postnatal tissues.  We support creation of the Georgia Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank to collect and store postnatal tissue and fluid for life saving research and medical treatment.

Many diseases are directly caused by the destruction of cells and tissues that the adult human body cannot regenerate.  In these situations, as well as in many others, future cures will almost certainly involve replacing the destroyed tissue or cells.

Umbilical cord blood banking is a safeguard against diseases treatable today, and a real hope for more treatment possibilities tomorrow.

The Medical Association of Georgia appreciates your hard work on this issue and supports your efforts as the legislation moves foward.

Sincerely,

S. William Clark III, M.D.
President
Medical Association of Georgia

Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology

Dear Senator Shafer:

The Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology agrees that the controversy over embryonic stem cell research should not stand in the way of advancing other types of stem cell research that can be helpful to those with cancer and other medical conditions. In that spirit, we support Senate Bill 148, the “Saving the Cure Act.”

The umbilical cord, placental tissue and amniotic fluid are rich in stem cells that can be used for medical research and treatment.  We support the proposed creation of the Georgia Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank so that we can make the best use of these resources rather than discarding them as so often happens now.  Ultimately, we believe it will advance medical research and save lives, and we applaud your efforts in this regard.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors
Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology

Morehouse School of Medicine

Dear Senator Shafer:

I write to express support for your efforts to create a Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank in Georgia contained in Senate Bill 148.

Stem cell research can lead to many opportunities in addressing disease that disproportionately affect minority communities in Georgia and across the nation. Disease and conditions such as anemia, leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell and disease have already been treated using procedures involving stem cells.

The creation of the Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank would be a benefit to Georgia as the repository of stem cells presents great opportunities for new scientific advances in our State. In addition, the bank would be equitable for all of Georgia citizens, and socioeconomic factors would not prohibit anyone form accessing the bank when necessary.

Thank you for allowing me to comment on a bill that will help health issues tha impact underserved communities.

Sincerely,

Terri A. Winston
Deputy to the President for Governmental Relations and Community Affairs
Morehouse School of Medicine

Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia

Dear Senator Shafer:

I write to express our enthusiastic support of Senate Bill 148, Saving the Cure Act (Keone’s Law).

Stem cells from nonembryonic sources like umbilical cord blood have been shown effective in treating sickle cell anemia, but sickle cell patients often have trouble locating cells that are a close enough “match.”  Your bill creates an urgently needed system for collecting postnatal tissue and fluid that should help the who suffer from sickle cell and a host of other diseases.

The passage of Senate Bill 148 is important to all sickle cell patients.  We appreciate your leadership in this effort and are proud to stand with you.

Very truly yours,

D. Jean Brannan
President and Chief Operating Officer
Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia

American Sickle Cell Anemia Association

Dear Senator Shafer:

The American Sickle Cell Anemia Association is pleased to express our strong support for your Senate Bill 148, the Saving the Cure Act (Keone’s Law).  We applaud your effort to create a Georgia Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Bank and advance medical research involving noncontroversial, nonembryonic stem cells.

Sickle cell anemia is among the many diseases that can be effectively treated with umbilical cord stem cells. In the treatment of sickle cell patients, one of the toughest challenges is finding stem cells that “match” the patient. That is why passage of your bill is so very important.

Senate Bill 148 gives every Georgia mother the opportunity to donate her postnatal tissue and fluid for medical research and treatment. Stem cells can be harvested from this tissue without harm to the mother or newborn baby.

The American Sickle Cell Anemia Association proudly supports your efforts. Your leadership in this effort is very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Ira Bragg-Grant
Executive Director
American Sickle Cell Anemia Association