New York, NY, June 07, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation today announced that Peter Chieco has been named its new National President.
“We are thrilled to welcome Peter back as National President, a position he held from 1994 to 1998,” said Craig Butler, National Executive Director of the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. “Peter is extraordinarily knowledgeable about Cooley’s and passionate about educating the public, supporting families who are impacted by the disease, and finding a cure. Under his leadership, I believe we will make great strides forward in all three of these domains.”
The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation provides a network of support for families afflicted with the disease. Its mission is to advance treatment and find a cure, enhance the quality of life for patients, and educate trait carriers and the public about it.
“I am honored to take up the baton and resume the role I held in the mid-nineties,” Chieco said.
“We all have been impacted, directly or indirectly, by disease in our lives. My family and I are no different. One of my children suffers from Cooley’s anemia, and so this cause is one I hold very dear.”
Cooley’s anemia, also known as thalassemia, is an inherited blood disorder characterized by the inability to produce normal red blood cells. It is caused by a variant gene that affects an individual’s production of hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen).
Patients with Cooley’s are severely anemic, receiving regular blood transfusions as often as every two weeks. While frequent transfusions may raise hemoglobin to near-normal levels, repeated lifelong transfusions can be deadly as they lead to iron overload, which can cause multi-organ failure. Excess iron must be removed by chelating agents, the gold standard of which is a drug difficult to administer: it must be attached over eight to twelve hours via a subcutaneous injection pump and a needle in the stomach.
“As devastating a condition as it is now, Cooley’s anemia patients are far better off than a few decades ago, when the disease spelled death in early childhood,” Chieco said. “The technology for transfusions, the chelating agents, the bone marrow transplants… all of these advances are welcome, but we still need a cure.”
By day, Chieco is a financial advisor in Greenwich. He is acutely aware of the need for funding at a nonprofit such as the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. “Excitingly for the Cooley’s community, which spans the globe, science is on the brink of breakthroughs in cell and gene research that could, possibly, lead to a cure,” Chieco said.
A cure for Cooley’s could signify a cure for other, equally catastrophic related conditions, such as Sickle Cell Disease, he said.
“I encourage everyone to consider making charitable giving part of their overall financial plan. Whether it is to our Foundation or to any other legitimate nonprofit or cause, a charitable gifting strategy not only helps the beneficiary agency but of course has tax implications for the individual,” Chieco added. “Everyone has an opportunity to help others in some capacity.”
About the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation:
For nearly 60 years, the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation has been enhancing the quality of life for people impacted by thalassemia by funding medical research to advance treatment and curative approaches, by supporting and advising patients and their families, and by educating medical professionals and the public. Begun in 1954 with a neighborhood blood drive organized by the father of two young children diagnosed with the disease, it has blossomed into an international organization promoting advocacy and research.
Additional information is available at the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, 212-279-8090 or www.cooleysanemia.org. The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.