I received a phone call this morning from a nice lady at the Rhode Island Blood Center asking me if I received the invitation to their reception at the RI State House celebrating their successful cord blood matches. I was embarrassed to admit I had thrown the invite out, thinking it was a generic invitation that also fell on the same night we were planning to go out for our fifth wedding anniversary.
She then informed me that Jackson was the second of only 8 successful cord blood donation matches their program has had since it began in 2009. His cord blood helped save the life of a little girl who was battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.The fact that he helped another family’s child survive warms my heart. I immediately got goosebumps and as soon as I got off the phone I hugged my little man, who has saved a life at 2 years old.
You may remember that Jackson’s cord almost killed him, so the fact that donating its blood has made a difference in the life of another family going through something so unimaginable brings me peace. I’m also thankful that my husband went back down to the car to retrieve our cord blood donation box for the birth, even though he almost missed the delivery because of it. We also donated Sidney’s cord blood but to our knowledge it is still banked and waiting for a match.
I encourage everyone who is having a baby to look into public cord blood donation. If you’re in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Blood Center has a Cord Blood Donation program that makes it easy (and free) to donate. Here’s some national info for you non-Rhodys at Be The Match.
Here are some important facts from their site:
Cord Blood Facts & Figures
- Each year more than 10,000 patients are diagnosed with diseases that are treatable only with a blood stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor.
- Less than 4,000 patients found a donor and had a transplant in 2007.
- Cord blood donation can fill the need for donors 26% of all transplants in 2007 were from donated cord blood.
- Minority patients have a harder time finding a matched donor. They can benefit from a cord blood donation from a public bank.
- Umbilical cord blood donations are NOT related to embryonic stem cells.
Advantages of Cord Blood
- Cord blood collection is easy and risk-free for both mother and baby.
- Public cord blood donation is free.
- Cord blood that is collected, tested and stored is ready to use when a patient needs it.
Make a difference, donate your baby’s cord blood!
Here’s a short video about cord blood donation: