Boca Raton city leaders held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday for a center that is all about saving lives.
Gift of Life founder and CEO Jay Feinberg described his non-profit as a marrow registry aimed at curing blood cancer through cellular therapy.
"We create new living drugs that will be given back to patients to help them get rid of their diseases," said Feinberg.
His work just got easier with the new Center for Cell and Gene Therapy in Boca Raton acting as a biobank.
"By storing those cells in advance, we can actually have them ready on-demand or off the shelf for patients who need transplants very quickly," explains Feinberg.
The new center will provide transplant physicians, researchers and cell and gene therapy developers with the donor cell products they need to help patients find customized cures.
"Everything happens for a reason, and something as big as this for sure," said donors Michael Danziger, who traveled from New Jersey to Boca Raton to make his stem cell donation.
Ten years ago, Danziger also donated cheek cells.
"It was an amazing feeling to know just the blood coursing through our veins, the things we take for granted, is literally life-saving for somebody else. It was like an inspiring feeling," said Danziger.
The work done at the center caught the attention of city leaders like Mayor Scott Singer, who knows firsthand the important work occurring at the facility.
"My mother-in-law Eleanor's life was saved with a transplant that was facilitated by the gift of life," said Singer.
It is a step forward in science and a gift that keeps giving.