August 22, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico members of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) International donated $5,622 to University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology to further umbilical cord blood research.

ESA member Sally Henning of Los Lunas, N.M. had the idea to raise money for the pediatric oncology department after meeting with Dr. Richard Heideman, chief of the division of pediatric hematology/oncology at UNM.

"In talking with Dr. Heideman about cord blood research, I thought this was an important focus for our state," said Henning. "ESA, on a national level, donates to other children’s hospitals and I thought it was important to keep the money we raise here in the state. Charity should start at home and this research is vital to our children in New Mexico."

Cord blood is the blood left in the placenta and the umbilical cord after the birth of a child and the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord. Cord blood is known to be a very rich source of hematopoietic or blood producing stem cells. These stem cells have the ability to become anyone of the normal blood cells such as an infection fighting white blood cell, an oxygen carrying red blood cell or a platelet that helps prevent easy bruising and bleeding.

The use of core blood can be used to treat patients with various cancers and give patients another option for treatment next to bone marrow transplants.

ESA is an international leadership and service organization that brings people together to pursue programs and projects that make a positive difference locally, nationally and internationally. New Mexico has 15 chapters. For more information on ESA, visitwww.esaintl.com.