Share the Science with Dr. Susana Gomez from Anthony Nolan UK: Quality Cord Blood Banking

Share the Science with Dr. Susana Gomez from Anthony Nolan UK: Quality Cord Blood Banking

On October 15th, 2015, Dr. Susana Gomez from Anthony Nolan UK – Cell Therapy Center (visit site) in the UK joined for an in-depth discussion on quality in cord blood collection.  Dr. Susana Gomez spoke about the important role that cord blood banks play in stem cell transplantation, the quality assays and standards that must be met, and the importance of the validations and qualification processes.

Susana Gomez from Anthony Nolan Foundation on Share the Science

Share the Science featuring Dr Susana Gomez from the Anthony Nolan Foundation

Since 2008, Dr. Susana G. Gomez has served as head of cord blood bank at Anthony Nolan UK – Cell Therapy Centre (ANCTC), which is a FACT NetCord accredited facility in Nottingham (UK). She is also the designated individual (DI) for the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) license, and she has a Visiting Fellow in College of Science in Nottingham Trent University.

Dr. Gomez, who has a Ph.D. in heamatotoxicity, started her career at the Andalusian Centre for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (CABIMER). She has been involved in clinical trials and has extensive experience in mesenchymal stem cell research as well as GMP compliance.

Quality in cord blood collection and processing is a hot topic in the industry currently as new standards are being established and some debated.  Dr. Gomez addressed many of these issues via her data-based presentation which gave tremendous insight into the current standard for cord blood collection as well as opportunities to improve standards throughout the industry. For new and old cord banks alike, this presentation provided an opportunity to ask how and why to improve. Dr. Gomez shared numerous examples from her own professional experience in explaining how challenges might be met.

This Share the Science webinar is now available in our archive.


 

Would you like to join us for our next Share the Science webinar? It’s easy. Simply click here and register.

You can also enjoy free access to our full archive of previous presentations from leading experts like Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg from Duke, Michael Boo from NMDP, Kate Girard who is Director of Clinical Affairs at Viacord and many more.


 

Share the Science is brought to you in partnership with friends at Mediware.

Share the Science - Mediware Seminars

1,000 Cord Blood Donations at TMC!

1,000 Cord Blood Donations at TMC!

Leading the way in healthcare, the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program celebrates a major milestone. Tucson Medical Center has officially collected over 1,000 cord blood donations!

cord blood donation_amy vasquez and chris colbert

Parents Amy Vasquez and Chris Colbert with their daughter, Hailey, who just became the 1000th cord blood donor in Arizona at Tucson Medical Center.

On the afternoon of November 5th, 2015 the staff at Tucson Medical Center celebrated as they surpassed 1,000 cord blood donations marking a major achievement.  For the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program this was also a significant milestone and much anticipated event. All of the program’s partners including Save the Cord Foundation rejoiced at the news.

Tucson Medical Center is one of four hospitals collecting cord blood donations for the state. The parents, Amy Vasquez and Chris Colbert, welcomed little baby Hailey into the world at 5pm on Friday afternoon. When asked prior to the delivery by TMC staff if they might like to donate their child’s cord blood to this program, they did not hesitate.  Colbert remembers his response was clear, “It was easy. . .there was no risk involved.”   He went on to say how far things have come since he had his first child 12 years ago. At that time, cord blood was just starting to be discussed but was very experimental.  Now, both parents are excited to see how far research has come and that doctors are now using it routinely to save lives.  He concluded with advice for other parents “It is quick, easy and safe.  . . It does not hurt anybody to do but it helps a lot of others.”

We could not agree more!  Cord blood donations are now in high demand given recent advances in research and how this valuable medical resource can be used (watch this fascinating interview with Dr. Cetrulo who explains some of the uses and innovations using cord blood and perinatal stem cells).  This marks a turning point for the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program as it continues collections daily across four hospitals in the state: Dignity Health at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Maricopa Integrated Health Services, Abrazos Health (formerly Phoenix Baptist Hospital) and Tucson Medical Center. Parents giving birth at these hospitals receive expert guidance on their options for preserving their baby’s cord blood either privately or publicly. Many choose to donate their child’s cord blood so that it can be used to help someone who is waiting for a match. Currently, there are 80+ diseases being treated with cord blood stem cells including leukemia, sickle cell and lymphoma.
Tucson News Now

The state of Arizona has put a special emphasis on cord blood donations.  Earlier this year, Governor Ducey decreed July as “Cord Blood Awareness Month” acknowledging:

  • thousands of people are diagnosed each year with blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases that can be treated with cord blood;
  • umbilical cord blood is a non-controversial source of stem cells;
  • donated cord blood can be listed on the national BE THE MATCH registry and made available for donors or used by researchers in the state of Arizona working on curing blood cancers and other diseases (Source).

These 3 points are why parents across the state are moved into action each time a nurse or a doctor suggests cord blood donation. These 3 points have begun a shift in the standard of care for expectant mothers within the state of Arizona. These 3 points have set the state of Arizona apart as a leader in healthcare and innovation.  Other states are watching as the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program continues to grow and evolve.

Arizona Public Cord Blood Program

Donate your child’s cord blood to through the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program.

As each of the four hospitals continue to collect cord blood on a daily basis, calls are starting to come in for transplants.  To date, nearly 30 cord blood transplants have been sent out to patients who were desperately in need of a donor.  While cord blood does have a broader match potential than bone marrow, there are still significant matching criteria. This is why donations from people with diverse ethnic backgrounds are so important.

If you are pregnant and live in Arizona, please consider giving birth in one of the hospitals connected with the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program. For more information, please click here.

You can be a part of this fantastic program by either showing your support for Save the Cord Foundation who routinely promotes this public program across the state or by simply telling an expectant parent or friend about what you have learned here.  If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Save the Cord Foundation.

 


 

Tell your story and inspire others. If you donated or privately banked your cord blood, we would like to know how you ultimately made that choice. Did a friend tell you about it? Your doctor? Perhaps you or someone you know actually received a cord blood transplant and now would like to say thank you while encouraging other to donate?  We want to hear from you.

Please submit your stories to our REAL Stories. REAL People. section on our website. If you would like to tell your story but prefer to remain anonymous, please contact us directly.

 

Cord Blood Superheroes at Arizona Stem Adventure & JDRF One Walk

Cord Blood Superheroes at Arizona Stem Adventure & JDRF One Walk

Have you ever met a superhero? What was their special power? Have you ever met a Cord Blood Superhero? As luck would have it, we know several! And they have amazing powers! Plus, we know where you can find them! They have been very busy recently fighting over 80+ diseases including sickle cell, lymphoma, and leukemia at various events throughout the State of Arizona including Arizona Stem Adventure and the JDRF One Walk to name a few.

At these particular events, the main topic of conversation was the growing Arizona Public Cord Blood Program which has just recently celebrated nearly 30 cord blood transplants! That is nearly 30 lives saved thanks to this amazing initiative begun in 2014 by the State of Arizona and in partnership with key hospitals like Tucson Medical Center, Dignity Health at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Maricopa Integrated Health Services, and ABRAZOS HEALTH (formerly Phoenix Baptist Hospital). We are also proud to say that Tucson Medical Center just collected their 1,000th cord blood donation — a major milestone for them and the state-run program.

Cord blood donation is a new concept for many people. A simple brochure does not always suffice. While helpful as an introduction, it can create more questions ultimately.  Our team of superheroes has been on the ground talking with parents, college students and even elementary aged students to introduce them first-hand to the concept of cord blood preservation and why it is important. We discuss numerous examples of how cord blood is currently used to treat a variety of diseases and, in particular, we highlight the need for cord blood donations to treat blood cancers. This is where the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program comes in and helps to provide an easy solution to those families who wish to donate their child’s cord blood.

Our superheroes know that it is not enough to just speak with doctors and nurses. We must educate the whole community and push for social change across generations if we hope to make cord blood preservation a standard of care for all expectant mothers. Mothers and their families need to understand why this decision is important and potentially life-saving. Today’s youth are already key in players in the movement as they begin to learn about cellular therapies and regenerative medicine in school.

At the JDRF ONE WALK (site), our team spoke with walk participants and spectators about the latest research developments using cord blood to treat/prevent Type 1 Diabetes.  At the JDRF ONE WALK an emphasis was placed on the importance of cord blood donation for treating those in need and the fact that there is great demand for cord blood donors of minority ethnic backgrounds.

#T1DLooksLikeMe JDRF ONE Walk in Arizona

#T1DLooksLikeMe (JDRF ONE Walk in Arizona)

 

At the Arizona Stem Adventure, our team spoke with over 900 kids about the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program and what a wonderful gift this was for a parent to donate their child’s cord blood at birth. Students learned about the different diseases that can be treated with cord blood and also learned about some of the science behind this amazing field of medicine. This future generation of scientists and parents already recognize that cord blood is a valuable medical resource. These young minds will not only become our next generation of donors but they will drive the movement forward through conversations with their friends and family–our next generation of superheroes.

Let's talk about the human body and cord blood! Bryanne Washington introducing tomorrow's scientists and mothers to the wonders of cord blood and why it should not be thrown away.

Let’s talk about the human body and cord blood! Bryanne Washington introducing tomorrow’s scientists and mothers to the wonders of cord blood and why it should not be thrown away.

Superheroes Bryanne Wadington and Helen Marie Looney presenting the Arizona Public Cord Blood poster (Arizona Stem Adventure)

Superheroes Bryanne Wadington and Helen Marie Looney presenting the Arizona Public Cord Blood poster (Arizona Stem Adventure)

Following these two major events at Arizona Stem Adventure and JDRF ONE WALK, we would like to thank our superheroes at Save the Cord Foundation for their on-going efforts to fight for social change, encouraging families everywhere to think twice before throwing away cord blood, reaching out to medical professionals to make them aware of existing programs such as the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program, pushing for other states to follow Arizona’s lead. . . . Your efforts are making a difference everyday. We are proud to have you on our team.

Give life twice. Save the cord!


Did you spot our Save the Cord Superheroes at another event recently?
It’s quite possible. Unlike traditional superheroes, we like to be seen and love talking with people about our cause. 

Save the Cord Foundation at the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Conference

Save the Cord Foundation at the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Conference

 

 

 

 

Save the Cord Foundation at the Student Nurses Association in Phoenix

Save the Cord Foundation at the Student Nurses Association in Phoenix

Save the Cord Foundation at Discovery Days Bay Area Science Cord Blood Education

Save the Cord Foundation at Discovery Days Bay Area Science Cord Blood Education

 

 


 

To learn more about the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program, please click here.

Arizona Public Cord Blood Program

Donate your child’s cord blood to through the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program.

 

Dylan Praskins:  Being a Kid. . . Thanks to a Cord Blood Transplant for Leukemia!

Dylan Praskins: Being a Kid. . . Thanks to a Cord Blood Transplant for Leukemia!

If you have been following Save the Cord Foundation for a while then you will remember meeting young Dylan Praskins in a previous article where we introduced this amazing boy shortly after his cord blood transplant for Leukemia.  We recently caught up with Dylan’s parents, Erik and Michelle, to get an update.

Dylan Praskins undergoing chemo prior to a cord blood transplant.

Dylan Praskins undergoing chemo prior to a cord blood transplant.

Born on April 16th, 2009, Dylan was diagnosed with infant leukemia or ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) at only 2 months old. The cancer was very aggressive and he was considered high risk because he was younger than 90 days old.  Doctors moved quickly putting Dylan on intense chemo therapy. They also concluded that a cord blood transplant for Leukemia would be the best treatment in his case. On September 11th, 2009, Dylan received the cord blood transplant and as his parents will tell you “it was nothing short of a miracle.”

Move forward to today and Dylan is an active and intelligent 6 year old! His family has documented his progress and their experience post-transplant via a family blog: http://prayfordylan.blogspot.com

dylan praskins cord blood recipient

Being a kid! 6 years after his cord blood transplant, Dylan is having fun.

Dylan’s cord blood treatment was very successful. However, battling cancer is never easy and the process can be stressful physically as well as emotionally.

Remembering the day when Dylan was diagnosed, Erik recalled the details, “June 13, 2009…..6pm….”Your son’s white blood cell count is extremely elevated. That can mean one of two things; he may have a tumor of some sort, or he has Leukemia.” I can hear those words as clear in my mind as I heard them over a year ago. Cancer has changed our lives– Leukemia has changed our lives.”

celebrating 6 years old cancer free

Celebrating being 6 years old cancer free with BLUE ice cream!

The family speaks honestly about the difficulties they have been through saying “. . .so much has happened since then. I can remember that day [the day Dylan received his cord blood transplant] as if it were yesterday. We were so anxious, and praying harder than we have ever prayed before.”

Following the transplant, Dylan’s health started to improve rather quickly and he was declared Leukemia free by Christmas.  However, the first major milestone was when Dylan reached the 1-year anniversary of his cord blood transplant for Leukemia and the cancer was still in remission.

A few months ago, Dylan was selected as the “Boy of the Year 2015” for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He and his family talk about their experience now 6 years post-transplant in this informative video which was shared with us by his family.

 

Learn what happened to Dylan next. . . continue reading this article, go to part 2.

 


Are you pregnant? Explore our interactive map to find the best public or private cord blood bank for you.

Cord blood banking Public and Private Options

Cord Blood Banking Options

Cord Blood Uses and Innovations with Dr. Curtis Cetrulo

Cord Blood Uses and Innovations with Dr. Curtis Cetrulo

For parents all around the world, it starts with a question. . . should I save my baby’s cord blood? To help answer this question we sat down with Dr. Curtis Cetrulo (Former Professor OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine) to learn about the current cord blood uses and innovations while getting a bit of insight on what the future holds for cord blood.  This discussion blew our minds and we talk with cord blood experts every day!

In this fast-paced 15 minute interview, Dr. Cetrulo took this very technical topic and put things into simple layman’s terms. He also opened our eyes to the latest research using perinatal stem cells, including cord blood stem cells.
FACT CHECK:
What are perinatal stem cells? You often here us talking about cord blood stem cells but what does the term “perinatal stem cells” mean? “Perinatal stem cell sources include: amnion, amniotic fluid, cord blood, cord tissue/wharton’s jelly, as well as placental blood and placental tissue. Perinatal stem cells are formed around the time of birth and are classified as adult stem cells but they really are more primitive then stem cells found in bone marrow or adipose tissue or other traditional sources of adult stem cells and as such, have greater therapeutic potential.” (Source: http://perinatalstemcells.com/about/ , accessed on October 31, 2015)

If you are a parent looking for guidance and clarification on what to do with your child’s cord blood, please take a few minutes to watch this video. It is like having a personal consultation with your OBGYN. Dr. Cetrulo takes the time to speak with honestly about the changing world of medicine and why you should save your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue.


Topics covered in this interview include:

  • the numerous cord blood uses and innovations including the diseases currently being treated with cord blood stem cells;
  • potential use of cord blood stem cells for treating heart attacks;
  • key questions like “should I save my baby’s cord blood?” Dr. Cetrulo gives his advice to today’s parents;
  • current research and recent breakthroughs involving cord blood: using cord blood to help the brain by treating cerebral palsy, autism, current and potential applications of cell therapy in regenerative medicine;
  • related medical discoveries that will reshape the face of medicine including the recent discovery of fetal stem cells in the mother’s blood circulation up to 25 years post-birth;
  • a brief introduction to the upcoming Perinatal Stem Cell Conference (March 2016) where these topics and much more will be discussed.

We found this discussion beneficial on so many levels. We talk to parents every day who are just beginning to learn about cord blood and the possibilities for preserving it. Many are not aware of the 80+ diseases currently being treated with cord blood stem cells including sickle cell anemia, leukemia, lymphomas and various blood cancers. However, the insight provided by Dr. Cetrulo about the new applications of cord blood with regards to heart attacks, brain development and regenerative medicine adds a whole new level of urgency to making cord blood preservation a standard form of care in maternities worldwide. Medicine is changing rapidly thanks to stem cell based therapies and non-controversial perinatal stem cells (namely cord blood stem cells) are at the forefront of this change.
 
As we begin preparations for the Annual Perinatal Stem Cell Conference in March 2016, this discussion with Dr. Cetrulo has given us a preview to what topics will be discussed. Undoubtedly, the use of perinatal stem cells in regenerative medicine will be one of the most talked about topics. In particular, we are looking forward to hearing more about how perinatal stem cells are being used in sports medicine. On Thursday evening, March 3rd, there will be a panel of leading sports medicine surgeons and stem cell practitioners dedicated to this topic, including Dr. Cetrulo’s son who is a Surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. The “Sports Medicine Panel” is free and open to the public so we would like to encourage you to attend.  This is a prime opportunity to meet the doctors and researchers who are pushing for real breakthroughs in medicine and are finding immediate applications for perinatal stem cells in sports medicine.  
 
If you would like to learn more about perinatal stem cells or are interested in attending the annual conference, please visit: http://perinatalstemcells.com/annual-conference/agenda/

Save the Cord Foundation wishes to thank Dr. Cetrulo and the entire team at the Perinatal Stem Cell Society for making this interview possible. 

Partners in Cord Blood Education with Save the Cord Foundation

 


 

Are you a parent trying to find a public or private cord blood bank near you?

We can help. Our Global Map is a resource guide that lists all of the major cord blood banks and public cord blood programs around the world. We are updating it constantly as new networks develop. Simply go to our global map page and type your city or zip code. If you don’t find what you need, feel free to contact us.

Cord Blood Webinars - Share the Science with Save the Cord Foundation

Cycling Champions Support Cord Blood Education

Cycling Champions Support Cord Blood Education

We want to say congratulations to our friends at Team Agress who, once again, have proven themselves to be champions in both cycling and cord blood awareness! 

These guys just finished a fantastic season where they competed in 147 races! That is 147 races where they proudly flew the banner for Save the Cord Foundation and spoke with countless fans about why they are happy to support cord blood education.

This elite team of athletes took the podium 48 times and 36 of those shining moments were in FIRST PLACE! By the end of the season they had produced 13 State Champions in three different disciplines, more than any other team in the entire State of Arizona.

You can see why we are proud to work with these guys. . . they are true CHAMPIONS who go for the gold and always strive to improve. They have a passion for cycling like we have a passion for cord blood and we are happy to be on the same team. Each time they race that is an opportunity for hundreds of fans to hear about cord blood and the important work we are doing at Save the Cord Foundation in Arizona and across the world.

Athletes like those on Team Agress know more than anyone how important it is to take care of our bodies. They spend hours analyzing how to make their bodies work more efficiently when racing. So, it was no surprise that members of Team Agress immediately identified with how valuable of a resource cord blood and tissue can be. They understand how wasteful it is to be currently throwing away well over 90% of this medical resource simply due to lack of awareness, funding and inadequate logistics. Many members of Team Agress are parents too, as well as many of their fans. They have all shown incredible dedication as they support cord blood education through each race and help us to get the word out.

Congratulations Team Agress! And thank you for reaching parents and fans with our important message of how cord blood is used to treat 80+ diseases including sickle cell, leukemia and lymphoma.

Do you live in Arizona? You can participate in the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program. This is a public donation program run by the state of Arizona to collect publicly donated cord blood throughout the state. Learn more about this program and how you can donate your baby’s cord blood here


 

Would you also like to support cord blood education? It’s easy! Get involved. Make a donation to Save the Cord Foundation and help us to reach parents and medical professionals around the world with the facts on cord blood. Let’s give every parent the options they deserve and help bring more options to those patients waiting for a cord blood transplant to treat diseases like sickle cell, leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers.

Click here to GET INVOLVED: MAKE A DONATION.


 

Are you expecting a baby?

Make sure you have registered for our FREE Baby Registry so that you can learn more about your options for preserving your child’s cord blood as well as access free offers and discounts from select partners.

Free Baby Shower Registry: Guide to Cord Blood, Offers and Discounts

Free Baby Shower Registry: Guide to Cord Blood, Offers and Discounts

 

 

About Save the Cord Foundation

Save the Cord Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was established to promote awareness of the life-saving benefits of cord blood based on unbiased and factual information. The Foundation educates parents, health professionals and the general public about the need to preserve this valuable medical resource while providing information on both public cord blood donation programs and family cord blood banks worldwide.

Support Save the Cord Foundation

Our mission depends on supporters like you. Please support our cause by making a donation or promoting our website and message where you can. We appreciate all the support!
(We NEVER ask for cash donations. Online donations are easier and safer. Thank you.)

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