I have also had family members who have had thalassemia and breast cancer. These are tough diseases. A few years ago there weren't any good answers. New technology now seems to be evening the odds through stem cell research, collection and storage of umbilical cords.
Stem cells are used in the treatment of blood cancers like leukemia, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, myeloma and lots of other diseases. Stem cells are found in the umbilical cord of your baby and are usually discarded after delivery. These advances are causing parents to use a cordblood bank so the cells will be available if needed later.
As you might imagine, the collection, processing and long-term storage is not inexpensive. Parents should consider storage to be an investment in the future. Gifts from family and friends can help offset the cordblood banking cost. Many times, the gifts can be made directly to the cord blood bank of your choice.
I'm glad that the technology is now available. It might have given my cousin a better chance. This link may answer your questions and help you find the bestcord blood bank for your needs.