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Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005

Location: Washington, DC

STEM CELL THERAPEUTIC AND RESEARCH ACT OF 2005 -- (Extensions of Remarks - May 25, 2005)

TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2005

Mr. AKIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2520, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005. This bill is significant because it would encourage one of the most promising, and ethically sound, avenues of medical research in our time: The stem cells within umbilical cord blood.

This is a matter of great interest to me, both because of the importance of the research itself and also because I represent the greater St. Louis area, which is home to the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

Cord blood has proven successful in treating 67 diseases including sickle cell disease, leukemia, osteopetrosis and Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Just last year, a North Korean woman who had been paralyzed for 19 years was seen walking with the assistance of a walker for the media. Only a month prior she had received a cord blood treatment.

This type of extraordinary result demonstrates why we should invest in cord blood stem cells research and treatment.
An early pioneer in cord blood collection and storage, the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank has amassed the second largest inventory of cord blood in the world and has provided the second largest number of cord blood units for transplant. I commend the work of centers like the one at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and am pleased to support his important legislation.

The men and women at the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank deserve our thanks for their integrity, dedication and commitment to bettering human life through ethical research. The promise of adult stem cell research is both substantial and uncontroversial, which is why I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2520.

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