LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 6, 2005–Awaiting the birth of a newborn can be as daunting as it is exhilarating for many dads-to-be. Many expectant fathers find themselves wondering: Do I have what it takes to be a good parent? Will I be able to handle the fussing and fatigue? How will I know if I’m doing everything possible to ensure my baby’s well-being?
To help dads-to-be expect the unexpected, baseball Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew and nationally renowned pediatrician Harvey Karp, MD have teamed up to provide advice about what matters most to both of them — giving each and every baby the foundation for a healthy life.
While both men come at their points of view from different life experiences, they are unified about one thing — the value of saving a newborn’s cord blood.
For Dr. Karp, a pediatrician, child development specialist and author of the best-selling book/DVD, “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” it is a matter of science. “Cord blood stem cells are an important lifeline to a healthy future. These cells already treat such life-threatening diseases as leukemia and sickle cell anemia and we have every reason to believe that they will be instrumental in changing medical treatment in the future.”
For Mr. Carew, it is a matter of pure heart. In 1996, he lost his daughter after months of searching unsuccessfully for a bone marrow transplant donor to treat her leukemia. Carew now urges parents to save their newborn’s cord blood. He explains, “Saving a newborn’s cord blood stem cells is the best gift a parent can give to their child. I wish cord blood banking was available when my daughter was born.”
This once-in-a-lifetime decision represents an investment in your child’s – and your whole family’s — future health. Stem cells have been used to effectively treat approximately 80 diseases(1) and are a proven alternative to bone marrow transplants in treating a wide variety of blood disorders(2),(3). Experts also believe that cord blood stem cells hold great promise to potentially treat heart disease; diabetes; neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; spinal cord injury; autoimmune disorders; and solid tumor cancers. Expectant parents can store their newborn’s cord blood stem cells with facilities such as LifebankUSA, www.lifebankusa.com, one of the world’s leading cord blood stem cell banks.
“I encourage parents to bank their newborn’s cord blood. It is the only way to ensure a perfect match to these stem cells if he/she ever needs them in the future. Parents should consult their physicians or contact a facility such as LifebankUSA to learn more,” said Dr. Karp.
Dr. Karp’s other top advice for expectant parents include:
* Ask for important newborn blood screening tests to be performed upon the birth of your child: All states screen newborns for certain metabolic birth diseases, which can cause physical problems, mental retardation and, in some cases, death. However, there are other potentially fatal disorders for which you can screen at birth, many of which can benefit from early intervention. These disorders can be grouped into five categories: amino acid metabolism disorders; organic acid metabolism disorders; fatty acid oxidation disorders; hemoglobinopathies; and others.(4) To find out which tests are routinely done in your state, ask your health care provider, state health department or contact the national Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center.
* Breast-feed your baby: Scientific studies show that breast milk helps build babies’ brains, boosts their immunity, protects them against diabetes, and lowers a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The long-term health benefits of breast-feeding should convince soon-to-be-parents about the merits of breast-feeding for at least the first six months of the newborn’s life. While formulas are available for those who are unable to breast-feed, the evidence is clear, “breast is best” for feeding your baby.
* Recreate the womb to soothe fussy babies and help them sleep: In an extraordinary medical breakthrough, Dr. Karp discovered that all babies are born with a “calming Reflex” – a virtual off-switch for crying. In his best selling book and DVD, “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” Dr. Karp explains that during the first 3 months of life — what Dr. Karp calls the “Fourth Trimester” — parents can turn on their baby’s calming reflex by imitating the sensations of the womb (using swaddling, side/stomach position, shhhing sounds, swinging and sucking). Recreating the womb can quickly soothe crying and improve a baby’s sleep. And, quieting a baby’s cries also lessens stress in a family, postpartum Depression and even lowers the risk of shaken baby syndrome.
“Every parent loses sleep worrying about the health of their new baby. By taking simple steps to plan for the unexpected, parents can give themselves peace-of-mind and help create a healthy future for their child.” said Dr. Karp.
About Rod Carew
Rod Carew was a major league baseball player for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels for nineteen seasons. A seven time batting champion, Carew was the 1967 American League Rookie of the Year, and 1977 American League Most Valuable Player. A 19 time All Star, in August of 1985, Carew became only the 13th player in major league history to amass more than 3000 career base hits. In 1991, he became only the twenty first player in major league history to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Carew currently works as an executive for both the Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball. Carew’s daughter Michelle, was 18 years old when she fell victim to leukemia. Her Panamanian-Russian ethnic mix lowered the likely of finding a suitable bone marrow transplant donor. In spite of Carew’s nationwide search, Michelle Carew passed away in April, 1996 before a donor could be located.
About Dr. Harvey Karp
Dr. Harvey Karp has been a practicing pediatrician and child development specialist for 25 years and is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles. He is the author of the nationally best selling book/DVDs “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block.” His work is endorsed by America’s top baby experts and is now the basis for baby calming classes that are taught to new parents all across the country. He is also a nationally renowned expert on children’s health and the Environment and an authority on breast-feeding.
LifebankUSA, a subsidiary of Celgene Corporation, is one of the world’s top umbilical cord blood banks, providing services for thousands of families worldwide since 1998. It is the only bank with two fully-equipped facilities in the United States that are both ISO certified and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. Its comprehensive research operation is one of the largest in the field of cord blood banking. For more information, please visit the LifebankUSA website at www.lifebankusa.com
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG – News), headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.celgene.com.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, delays, uncertainties and other factors not under the Company’s control, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the results, performance or other expectations implied by these forward-looking statements. These factors include results of current or pending research and development activities, actions by the FDA and other regulatory authorities, and those factors detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission such as 10K, 10Q and 8K reports.
(1) The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cord blood stem cell banking. Available at: http://www.lls.org/index.html. Accessed December 28, 2004.
(2) Laughlin MJ, Eapen M, Rubinstein P, et al. Outcomes after transplantation of cord blood or bone marrow from unrelated donors in adults with leukemia. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(22):2265-75.
(3) Gluckman E, Rocha V, Boyer-Chammard A, et al. Outcome of cord blood transplantation from related and unrelated donors. N. Engl J Med. 1997; 337:373-381.
(4) March of Dimes. Professional Researchers Quick Reference and Fact Sheet. Available at http://www.MarchofDimes.com. Accessed April 20, 2005.
Stanton Crenshaw Communications Joy Lee, 646-502-3517