Your little miracle could be someone else’s cure
Before your baby is born, the umbilical cord is a lifeline. After your baby is born, that lifeline can give birth to hope for others.
When a patient with leukemia, lymphoma or other life-threatening diseases needs a transplant, cord blood may be an option. A doctor will look for a donor or a cord blood unit with a tissue type that matches the patient’s as closely as possible. Today, 15% of transplant patients receive cord blood that was generously donated to a public cord blood bank.
Ajani’s story: A life changed by cord blood
Ajani was diagnosed with leukemia at age two. His doctor gave him three months to live, unless he got an unrelated umbilical cord blood transplant.
Fortunately, a matching cord blood unit was found, thanks to another family’s generous decision to donate their baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank.
Ajani received his transplant and his mother Risa has been trying to keep up with him ever since. This is no small task, since Ajani’s motor is always running. He enjoys riding his bike, playing ball of any kind, listening to music and competing with his cousins in just about anything.
“No question, the transplant saved my son’s life,” says Risa. “I thought I appreciated him before, but after all he’s gone through, I appreciate him even more now.”
In Edo, one of the languages of Nigeria, Ajani means “he who wins the struggle.” Ajani is living up to his name in every way.
Cord blood can improve the odds
Patients from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds often have a more challenging time finding a suitable matched donor. Adding donated cord blood from diverse communities to the registry increases the likelihood that every patient will find a life-saving match. In 2014, 29 % of cord blood transplants were for minority patients.
To support these patients, we partner with a network of public cord blood banks that collect and store cord blood units, especially from diverse racial and ethnic communities. With 209,000 umbilical cord blood units on Be The Match Registry® and access to 622,000 cord blood units through our international network of cord blood banks, many patients are able to find their life-saving match.
As you prepare for your child’s birth, consider giving the gift of hope. Learn if you can donate cord blood.