Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Detroit Free Press story on cord blood donations

On Monday, the Detroit Free Press featured a story on the importance of cord blood donations. Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells and can be used to help patients suffering from about 70 different conditions, according to the Free Press.
Just 19 months old, Makayla needs a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.

She was diagnosed one month after birth with a rare disease, Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which leaves her body unable to make red blood cells.

"She almost died in my arms," said her mother, Amanda Hampton, 21, of Detroit, remembering how she rushed her daughter to the hospital during her first month of life. Her baby could barely breathe, was sweating profusely, and her skin had turned pale.

Makayla's best option is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant, a procedure that transplants cells derived from blood products or umbilical cord blood to help patients rebuild their circulatory or immune systems. Her mother said she hopes to find a match through the Be the Match Registry of the National Marrow Donor Program, a federally designated agency that helps coordinate requests from unrelated donors for stem cell and bone marrow transplants.