MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — There’s new hope for children suffering from cancer and sickle cell anemia. Tuesday, a new pediatric bone marrow transplant unit will open in Miami.

The seven-bed unit at Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Medical Center will serve young cancer and sickle cell patients starting in August.

It replaces the current two-bed unit. Hospital officials say the new unit is the largest of its kind in South Florida and will serve pediatric patients with various types of childhood cancers and sickle cell disease.

The new unit has a family activity center with TVs, movies and computers, a kitchen area and laundry facilities. The goal is to ensure that patients and their families are comfortable during long hospital stays, which often last more than two months.

Doctors will gather Tuesday for a press conference along with young patients such as 8-year-old Alejandra Melgar and 5-year-old Rafe Chowdhury. Also in attendance will be 19-year-old Paul Kinsey, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. He spent weeks recovering at Holtz after receiving a bone marrow transplant in March from his brother.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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