Cord blood is rick in stem-cells that when transplanted can help treat more than 80 different diseases and disorders, including leukaemia, lymphoma, osteoporosis and sickle cell disease. This is a painless non-invasive procedure, performed after the baby’s umbilical cord is clamped and cut.
Parents can choose to have the blood collected and stored for future use by their child or other family members or they also have the option of donating their baby’s umbilical cord blood and help a child or adult waiting for a stem cell match. Currently Cord Blood donation is only available at hospital in Brampton, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Storing your baby’s cord blood for personal use has collection and yearly storage costs involved and doctor’s only recommend doing it if there is someone already in your family with an illness that can be treated with stem cells.
Cord Blood cells are easier to match than adult stem cells and are less likely to be rejected by the body. At one time, there can be up to 1000 Canadians waiting for a match, half of which will not find one. Cord blood stem cell transplant can be the answer that a family has been waiting for and having a diverse supply increases the chances of finding a match.
The option to donate cord blood is not available to parents in Sarnia-Lambton at the moment, but it is still so important to continue the dialogue on its importance and its accessibility.
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