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Donating Cord Blood

Most people probably don’t realize the life saving potential of their newborn’s left over umbilical cord. With the help of a cord blood bank, parents can donate their child’s umbilical cord blood for future medical use. This simple act has the potential to save a life. There is no better way to celebrate a new life than to mark the occasion by saving someone else’s.

What Is Cord Blood?

After a child is born, the blood left over in the umbilical cord and placenta is an excellent source of stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to develop into all the different cells of the body. This unique ability makes them particularly valuable to medical researchers and doctors. Stem cell therapy has been successfully used to treat a wide-range of diseases and disorders. Today, one of the best sources for stem cells is through cord blood donation.

What Diseases Are Treated with Cord Blood?

Stems cells derived from cord blood are used to treat a variety of diseases. Leukemia, sickle cell disease, immunodeficiency diseases, Krabbe disease, and both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are examples of the many illnesses treatable with stem cell therapy. Through continuous research, doctors are constantly discovering new ways to treat diseases with stem cell therapy.

How to Donate Cord Blood

Many people don’t donate cord blood simply because they don’t know they can. Luckily, donating cord blood is easy. Parents should check with their hospital to see if they participate in cord blood banking. If a hospital doesn’t participate in cord blood banking, then a cord blood bank should be contacted directly. Arrangements can be made directly with the cord blood bank for donation, and they will either send out a collection kit or work directly with the obstetrician.

Keep in mind that parents can privately bank cord blood for use by their family later. This has an initial cost of approximately $1500, and most facilities charge a yearly storage fee. However, the process is normally free for parents wishing to donate their newborn’s cord blood.

Help Save a Life

Umbilical cord blood is invaluable to medical research and the treatment of life threatening illnesses. An untold number of lives have been saved thanks to the generosity of parents willing to donate their child’s umbilical cord and placenta. It’s easy and requires nothing more than contacting a cord blood bank or notifying a hospital of a desire to donate. Parents looking for more information about donating can visit¬†http://www.volunteerguide.org/hours/service-projects/cord-blood-donation

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