Joanne Pang Foundation Overview
Target demographics: The umbilical cord blood stem cells once collected and stored by NCUBB would be able to treat patients with various life-threatening diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, immune system deficiencies, and blood disorders in the San Francisco Bay Area and worldwide.
If established, the NCUBB would be the first nonprofit, public cord blood bank serving San Francisco Bay Area, especially the various ethnic communities where the number of bone marrow donors is statistically inadequate to warrant a chance of life-saving treatment for the patients with various terminal diseases.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In the preliminary business plan for the NCUBB project outlined by the UCSF Children’s Hospital, it projects that approximately 22,000 umbilical cord blood units could be captured after the program is initiated. This means that many more patients in need of critical transplant could potentially be saved with the cord blood units from NCUBB.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area, California, the United States of America, Worldwide.
While the bone marrow and the umbilical cord blood both possess the life-saving stem cells, the advantages of the cord blood could be summarized as follows:
• A rich source of stem cells
• Less stringent matching criteria (For a bone marrow transplant, a minimum of 5/6 match is
a must. For a cord blood transplant, a low 3/6 match would work)
• Less risk of graft vs. host disease (GVHD)
• Less risk of viral infections (baby stem cells are less infected with various viruses)
• Easily available within 72 hours (if the cord blood unit is already stored in the cord blood bank)
• Collected non-invasively
In most births today, cord blood is disposed of after a baby is born. Once this cord blood bank is established, parents giving birth will have the option of donating this gift of life at no cost to them.
In addition to establishing the NCUBB, the JPF is dedicated to promoting education and awareness of these grave diseases, supporting the advancement of clinical research and providing patient assistance and family support.
Since the launch at the footsteps of the San Francisco City Hall in November 2007, the JPF has spearheaded with various education and awareness campaign and presented the NCUBB project to many organizations within the San Francisco Bay Area. We have received staunch supports from the board of supervisors of the City of San Francisco, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, State Senator Carole Migden, State Assemblywowan Fiona Ma, San Francisco Health Department Director Dr. Mitch Katz, etc.
The JPF has developed a five minutes documentary “A New Kite in the Sky” on Joanne Pang Family’s journey of faith, hope and love and it is available on YouTube. Her brave story of battling leukemia is also available in a book titled “See Daddy! That’s the New Kite.”