UPDATED: On August 4th, 2016, Save the Cord Foundation joined Nathan Mumford (KEM Foundation) and the Cord for Life Foundation to speak with doctors and nurses directly in Baltimore, Maryland about the need to save cord blood. The group visited Mercy Medical Center and Saint Agnes Hospital. Both of these hospitals actively collect cord blood for public donation via the Cord for Life Foundation.
The importance of public cord blood banking (or also known as “cord blood donation”) is often overlooked by the media. Parents often realize too late that they could have donated their child’s cord blood at birth and potentially saved the life of someone in need. Save the Cord Foundation is working to change this.
On August 4th, 2016, Save the Cord Foundation will be in Baltimore, Maryland with 3-time cancer survivor, Nathan Mumford, to spotlight the wonderful opportunity expectant mothers have to donate umbilical cord blood. Baltimore’s own Mercy Medical Center has an active public cord blood donation program where expectant mothers’ can give life twice and donate their newborn’s for blood to save a life.
The stem cells in cord blood are powerful. Similar to bone marrow (and sometimes better), cord blood stem cells can be used to treat and/or cure over 80 life threatening diseases like leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Cord Blood stem cells are used much like a bone marrow stem cells to rebuild a diseased immune system. Cord blood is much easier to match than bone marrow and has a significantly lower risk of Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD). Yet, unfortunately, cord blood is thrown out 97% of the time as medical waste when a baby is born.
Meet Nathan Mumford. He is one of the many reasons we need to save and donate cord blood. Nathan’s life was saved thanks to a cord blood transplant. Nathan has fought cancer three times and won. Yet, as an African-American, Nathan faced a challenge known to many. . . it was impossible to find a bone marrow donor who matched when he needed it most. His doctors did not give up. Cord blood was the answer.
“Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell disease that can be treated with the stem cells extracted from blood extracted from the umbilical cord of newborns. Doctors can match cord blood to a patient and then transplant it to potentially save a life,” said Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Medical Center. Dr. Atlas will also be available for interview. For more information about cord blood donation at Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com.
Currently, individuals of minority and blended ethnicities are dramatically under-represented on worldwide public registries for bone marrow/cord blood. Yet, over 40% of all individuals who need a transplant are of blended or minority ethnicity. Collecting cord blood from newborn’s of minority or blended ethnicity raises the chances that we can help facilitate more transplants.
In fact, cord blood donation is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Cord blood donation should be encouraged when the cord blood is stored in a bank for public use,” (source: Cord Blood Banking for Potential Future Transplantation, Jan 2007, Vol 119 / Issue 1; http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/165 ).
Nathan’s visit to Baltimore is a wake-up call to the local community of parents, doctors and nurses to understand how valuable cord blood is as a medical resource. Join us on August 4th to save a life!
Notes for Editors
- Word Cancer Day 2016, focus on Nathan: http://www.savethecordfoundation.org/nathan-mumford-proof-we-can-beat-cancer-with-cord-blood-part-1-wecanican-series/
- Read more about Nathan Mumford: nathanamumford.com or www.kemfoundation.org
- About Mercy Medical Center and affiliated hospitals in the Baltimore area: mdmercy.com
- About Saint Agnes Healthcare: StAgnes.org
Public cord blood donation is being made possible
at these Baltimore area hospitals
thanks to the Cord for Life Foundation.