How banking a baby’s Umbilical cord blood can help those fighting leukemia, lymphoma

Above: Photo by Elizabeth Hornbeck - copyright 2015 - all rights reserved - used with permission Bioscience | 19 Feb, 2017 |

Minutes after my granddaughter was born I watched as the nurse collected her cord blood for banking. It was so easy and it only took a few minutes. Today, cord blood stem cells donated from another Mom and Baby will be used to help save the life of someone I love who is fighting acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

If you know an expectant Mom, please tell her about her ability to bank her baby’s cord blood at a private cord blood bank like Cord Blood Registry like we did or to donate it to a public cord blood bank in your state. Here in Arizona, you can donate through the Arizona Public Cord Blood Banking Program.

The Arizona Public Cord Blood Program was created to advance the collection of and increase the number of cord blood units available for transplantation and is supported through funding from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission.

Umbilical cord blood is blood that remains in the blood vessels of the placenta and the umbilical cord after the baby is born and the cord has been clamped and cut. It contains hematopoietic stem cells or blood-forming cells (cells that can form other blood cells).

These blood-forming cells are also found in bone marrow. In the past, the placenta and umbilical cord were thrown away. Today, the blood can be collected, stored and made available for transplant to children and adults that have certain genetic or life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma.

Currently, seven out of ten people will not have a suitable matched donor in their family and will depend on the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry to find a match. Adding diverse units to the registry increases the likelihood that all patients will find a match, according to the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission.

In addition to public cord blood banking options, Arizona is home to the leader in umbilical stem cell banking. Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is dedicated to advancing the clinical application of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells by partnering with institutions to establish FDA-regulated clinical trials for conditions that have no cure today.

CBR originated at the University of Arizona and has benefited as an industry partner through its work with our university researchers. Today, CBR is a thriving company located in Tucson, Arizona. CBR is entrusted by parents with storing samples from more than 500,000 children. CBR is a prime example of how the work of researchers at Arizona’s public research universities can lead to the birth of new companies that make life better for the people of Arizona and for people across the country and around the world.

Governor Ducey’s plan to expand our university research infrastructure builds on the investments our state has made to lay the foundation for the life-saving and life-changing discoveries and developments that can lead to more great companies like CBR.

We have a new grandbaby coming in the spring and have already arranged to bank her cord blood at CBR too.

A baby’s birth is a celebration of life. If you know a Mom who is expecting, please let her know that she can share her special moment by banking the cord blood.

It just might help save the life of another special someone!

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