Ms. Hayes is one of the founding members of the Children’s Cord Blood Bank and Research Foundation, a local not-for-profit whose mission is to provide education, awareness and access to public umbilical cord blood collection for parents in New York State.
Roberta’s Career Recognition competition speech addressed concerns about the need for all parents to have access to a public umbilical cord blood bank so that children with blood cancers, anemias, genetic illnesses and immune dysfunction can receive life-saving adult stem cell transplants. She said, “Eight-five percent (85%) of parents in New York State do not have a public Cord Blood option and so over 90,000 newborns’ umbilical cord blood units are being thrown away every year, instead of being saved for the thousands of children and adults that need a stem cell transplant. Cord blood is FDA approved to treat blood cancers and is often used instead of bone marrow for children and adults as a preferred source of blood stem cells for transplant.” Ms. Hayes also commented on the many obstacles and gender discrimination she faced while pursuing her doctorate and career.
Considering herself an advocate for many who are sick and less fortunate, Roberta Hayes’ ultimate goal is to open a Public Cord Blood bank. “Blood cancers are one of the leading causes of death in children and young adults under the age of 25 and New York State has the second highest incidence of leukemia and lymphoma in the USA,” she said. “New York State is currently considering Assembly Bill 3204 and Senate Bill 5436 in support of public cord blood banking.”New York State Women, Inc.’s Career Recognition Program recognizes accomplishments of women in the workforce and provides opportunities in networking and personal and professional development. The mission of New York State Women, Inc. is to build powerful women personally, professionally and politically.
Contact: Linda Przepasniak, Communications Chair NYSW, Inc.
Career Recognition Chair, NYSW, Inc.