Mission and Background
The Eric Drew Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
“Our mission is to save lives and reduce suffering by providing advocacy and education to seriously ill patients and their families”
We at the EDF are dedicated to assisting people struggling with serious and terminal illnesses in forming strategies to navigate the complex medical systems, locating financial assistance programs, raising funds and finding elusive treatments that are not offered or available at their local facilities.
By giving patients and caregivers the tools and resources they need to advocate for themselves, we enable them to develop their own strategies for managing a health crisis. By helping patients locate treatment options and negotiate with hospitals and insurance companies, we help them get the treatments they need.
FROM ERIC DREW
“When I was diagnosed with a terminal disease (ALL) and checked in to the hospital for emergency treatment, there was nobody there for me to call on to advocate for me or to assist me with finding or evaluating treatment possibilities. The result was that I was sent home to die and had to work hard to find the treatment that finally saved my life. From this need for patient advocacy, the Eric Drew Foundation was born.
Tens of thousands of people in the US and around the world (many of them children) are being sent home to die and are suffering from “treatable” diseases which include various blood cancers such as Leukemias, Lymphomas, and genetic disorders such as Sickle Cell Anemia. Most are never given the option of the miracle treatments available using “non-controversial” sources of stem cells such as the double umbilical cord stem cell (UCSC) transplant that saved my life, and very few expecting parents are being educated on the value of cord blood banking. There are now approximately 50 diseases that are proven to be treatable with UCSCs, and incredible new UCSC treatments for 8 out of the top 10 killers in the US (cardiac disease, diabetes etc.) are now in clinical trials in the US. These incredible treatments for Diabetes, auto immune disorders, and regeneration of tissue, bone and nerves are currently being conducted in various countries around the world. Many countries such as Japan have embraced UCSCs as a superior alternative source of stem cells than from bone marrow.
Largely because of the noise and controversy around embryonic stem cell research, these proven treatments using non-controversial sources of stem cells are largely being ignored and people are dying unnecessarily. Recent statistics show that a vast majority of Americans incorrectly believe that all sources of stem cells are controversial and involve the killing of a human embryo or fetus. There are 3 million births in the US every year, yet only 2-3% of these families are banking this extremely rich source of stem cells which may benefit the entire family. It is urgent and imperative that we all take responsibility to raise awareness and get patients to the appropriate facilities for immediate treatment, and to make sure that expecting families know their options with regard to cord blood banking. Please do your part by talking to people in your community, encouraging your local doctors to refer patients to these treatments, and encouraging expecting parents to bank the cord blood stem cells for the whole family when babies are born. If you know anyone who suffers from a serious or terminal illness of any kind, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help”
The mission of the EDF is constantly evolving to keep up with the needs of patients the new emerging technologies being used to save lives. Since Eric is one of the first adults to survive a double umbilical cord stem cell (UCSC) transplant, he has by default become an international advocate for UCSCs and the miracle treatments they offer. Our mission has, in essence, followed this demand by patients and their families for these incredible life saving non-controversial stem cell treatments.
The Eric Drew Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit organization created in 2003 by volunteers from around the world to assist Eric with his fight against a “terminal” leukemia and to promote advocacy for seriously ill patients. The outpouring of support from the surrounding community was tremendous as people contributed funds and volunteered their time to put on the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest bone marrow registration drive ever. Over 1000 attended and over 760 people were tested and added to the NMDP (National Marrow Donor Program www.NMDP.org) database. Many other smaller bone marrow drives were also sponsored.
The Eric Drew Foundation is now focusing on several crucial projects (in order of priority):
Creating a free live online seminar series to provide patient education on cord blood treatments and banking
Free consulting to patients in urgent need
Establishing an online Patient and Caregiver Resource Center on the EDF website
Supporting legislative programs for cord blood stem cell research, establishment of the national chord blood stem cell bank, and continued government sponsored testing of donors for the National Marrow Donor Database.
Please do sign our guestbook to show your support for our efforts.