Did you know that umbilical cord blood can be donated to public cord blood banks and used for stem cell transplants?
For many patients that require a bone marrow transplant, stem cells from umbilical cord blood are a viable option. This is especially true for children that need a transplant, because their small body size means they need a smaller quantity of stem cells and there is usually more than enough in a unit of cord blood. Katelyn, the little girl that inspired this site, actually managed to find a suitable cord blood unit in a public cord blood bank but wasn't able to take advantage of it because her disease relapsed before she got to transplant. The point is that cord blood is a source of hope for many patients that are having trouble finding a bone marrow donor.
If you are an expectant mother, please consider donating the cord blood when your baby is born. There are some things to think about and criteria that needs to be met. Here are a couple of links to find out more:
In the United States:
What are my choices?
Parents have four choices. They can pay to store the cord blood for their own family to use, donate it for others to use, donate it to research or they can discard it in the waste.
Why donate cord blood?
Cord blood can save a life! It has been used for stem cell transplants in children and adults to treat over 70 different diseases including:
How do I donate?
Parents must contact a public cord blood bank early on in the pregnancy to arrange to make a donation. We encourage Canadian residents to contact Victoria Angel Registry (see contact information below).
Who can donate cord blood?
Parents must fill out a questionnaire to determine if they are eligible based on their health history.
What is the cost?
Thanks to donations from Cells for Life and generous groups and individuals, there is no cost for Canadian residents to donate cord blood to Victoria Angel Registry. Depending on where you live, there may be a cost to ship the sample to Victoria Angel Registry. Note that with limited financial resources, Victoria Angel Registry cannot accept and process every sample that is offered.
Who collects the cord blood?
The bank will send a kit to the parents. The parents must present the kit to their doctor/ midwife at the time of birth. The cord blood will be collected immediately following the birth of the baby. The parents are responsible for shipping the kit so that it arrives at the laboratory within 24 - 40 hours.
Does it hurt?
It does not hurt the mother or the baby to collect the cord blood. However, the mother must submit a blood sample for testing. The baby does not need to submit a blood sample.
Who will use the donated cord blood?
The cord blood may be used by any individual in need from anywhere in the world.
For more information please contact:
Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association
Cells For Life – Victoria Angel Registry of Hope