SOURCE: Cryobanks International, Inc

April 18, 2008 16:44 ET

CNN Heroes Viewers' Choice Award Winner Pat Pedraja Visits Cryobanks International to Learn About Cord Blood Donation

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL--(Marketwire - April 18, 2008) - Smiling twelve-year-old red-headed Pat Pedraja visited Cryobanks International to learn first hand all about umbilical cord blood donation, processing, storage and uses. Pat's mother Claudine and younger brother Tucker joined him as he donned a white lab coat to enter the processing lab. All this so he can be prepared to discuss the importance of cord blood donation during his upcoming 2008 Driving for Donors tour.

In 2007, after battling leukemia, Pat gained national attention. He came up with an idea on how he could help raise money to increase awareness about the need for bone marrow donation. He rented space on his bald (from chemotherapy) forehead for advertisers. With donations and advertisers money, Pat and his family put together the Driving for Donors tour. Traveling to over 30 cities in their donated "Donormobile" Pat and his family added over 6500 new names to the National Marrow Donor Program registry and raised over $100,000 for tissue typing fees and the drive. His goal was 2007 new names.

Pat became a national hero winning the CNN Heroes Viewers' Choice Award and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Boy of the Year for 2008. Pat's 2008 Tour is scheduled to begin this summer once school is out. He's planning to visit over 30 more cities. And this time the Driving for Donors tour will go international as Pat has been invited to visit Japan, South Africa, Australia, Germany, and Argentina.

"Pat's visit was special for Cryobanks," commented Cryobanks COO Robert Gravely. "His selfless efforts will help people around the world who need lifesaving stem cell transplants. He's a great ambassador and we're proud to be helping him." Cryobanks is helping Pat add information about cord blood donation and raise money for the 2008 Driving for Donors tour.

Pat's mother who manhandles the RV and handles all the logistics of the Driving for Donors tour said, "Patrick's 2007 efforts have found potentially lifesaving stem cell matches for three people in need so far. By working together I believe Driving for Donors and Cryobanks can educate thousands of people about the need for cord blood donation. Hopefully this will help many more people around the world in the future." Together Cryobanks and Driving for Donors hope to raise $200,000 to help take Pat's reach his 2008 goal of adding 8000 new names to the NMDP registry.

If you would like to donate to the 2008 Driving for Donors Tour efforts or learn more about Pat and his crusade, visit the Cryobanks web site and click on the featured story, or visit

About Cryobanks:

Cryobanks International, Inc. located in Altamonte Springs, FL is a leader in the collection, processing, and banking of stem cells derived from the umbilical cord. Cryobanks established the first and only nationwide cord blood public donation bank. The stem cell rich units of cord blood (CB) are processed and stored using the company's proprietary processing methods and are stored for use in unrelated transplants. The company also provides personal storage programs. In recent years, cord blood transplants (CBTs) have become widely recognized as a safe, effective, and in many ways a preferable alternative to traditional bone marrow transplants (BMT). Cryobanks International has process over 16,000 cord blood units and is current maintaining an inventory of nearly 9,000 donated cord blood units available for transplant to those in need worldwide. For more information about Cryobanks International call 1-800-869-8608 or visit the website at

About Driving for Donors:

DRIVING FOR DONORS began in 2007 as a nationwide event where Pat Pedraja and his family traveled around the country in a special "Donormobile." Working with The National Marrow Donor Program, The Marrow Foundation, law enforcement departments, local donor centers and businesses and the media, Driving for Donors hosted successful donor drives in over 30 major cities! Driving for Donors surpassed their goal of adding 2007 new marrow donor registrants by adding over 6500 donors. DRIVING FOR DONORS generated so much international interest that they plan on making DRIVING FOR DONORS 2008 an INTERNATIONAL TOUR! Tour locations and events are currently being planned. Visit if you would be interested in donating or hosting a DRIVING FOR DONORS 2008 event in your area!

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