Representative Jason Perillo (R-113), Ranking Member of the legislature’s Public Health Committee and Rep. Larry Miller (R-122) said that today’s passage by the House of Representatives of critical umbilical cord blood banking legislation on the final day of the session marks a new chapter for the state in successful treatment of some of the most debilitating diseases.
During the 2009 legislative session the Public Health Committee championed legislation requiring doctors to inform pregnant women about their cord blood banking options. This year the group has put forward legislation making a public cord blood bank program available to families in Connecticut.
“This is going to make critical life-saving procedures more widely available through the Cord Blood Bank,” said Representative Jason Perillo, Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee and former Chief of Shelton’s Echo Hose Ambulance Service. “This Bank represents real hope for their treatment. I hope the Governor will sign this measure and start this state on a path to greater wellness.”
Representative Larry Miller, who had a personal success story with stem cell treatment which saved his life, said the advancements that have been made in this kind of therapy are astounding. “The fact that this life-giving potential may soon be available through the Connecticut Cord Blood Bank is terrific news. The ability to have a larger pool or resources to find that critical stem cell match can be the difference between life and death.”
Cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord after the cord has been cut. Doctors have discovered that cord blood, like bone marrow, is a rich source of unique stem cells that can be used in medical treatments. Stem cells are the body’s “master” cells and can become any type of cell in the human body.
Cord blood banking is an opportunity for parents to collect and preserve the stem cells from their baby’s umbilical cord blood for potential medical uses. A newborn child’s umbilical cord is rich with the unique cells.
The bill now heads to the Governor for his signature. This session of the General Assembly concludes tonight at midnight.