Nancy Swanson calls to her son Noah on the playground at his Phoenix preschool. He doesn’t want to leave, he’s too busy playing and having fun, but it’s time to go to a Phoenix hospital for a weekly check in. This visit is part of a regime of visits to monitor Noah’s progress following a Cord Blood transplant just over a year ago, a procedure that saved his life; a procedure that required a decision by a mother, unknown to the Swanson family, to donate her child’s umbilical cord blood.
What Is a Cord Blood Transplant?
A baby’s umbilical cord blood contains stem cells, immature cells that can grow into many other types of cells. A cord blood transplant uses the stem cells captured from a donated umbilical cord to restore the stem cells when the bone marrow has been destroyed whether by disease, chemotherapy, or radiation. Because stem cells are so versatile they can be used to treat a number of diseases where cells are weakened or diseased and need to be replaced.
For more information about how cord blood transplants work check out this link.
When he was still just three years old, Noah needed a little known procedure call a cord blood transplant. Today, a year later and almost five years old, Noah is thriving, Nancy says, “Because a woman chose to donate her baby’s cord blood publically… the most wonderful gift a mother can give to another mother.”
Why Did Noah Need a Cord Blood Transplant?
Noah has a disease called Myelofysplastic Syndrome (MDS) . MDS refers to a group of disorders of the bone marrow, the spongy material inside your bones. The bone marrow is where most of our blood cells are made. People with MDS do not form enough healthy blood cells and the only treatment is bone marrow or cord blood transplant.
Typically, MDS affects men over 65 years old. It is not a disease commonly associated with young children, but Noah was diagnosed as a toddler.
How Was Noah Diagnosed?
At six months old Noah started getting lots of ear infections. “We were always at the pediatricians. They were getting ready to put ear tubes in.” Nancy shares. Then while in California, Noah had afebrile seizure and went to an emergency room.
To Read More: http://www.savethecordfoundation.org/umbilical-cord-blood-donation/
When Save the Cord Foundation co-founders, Charis Ober and Anne Sarabia, worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, they were invited to tour a cord blood bank in Tucson, Arizona. It was life-changing. During their tour, these career women and mothers met two extraordinary children who had received life-saving cord blood transplants. One child won a battle with leukemia and the other with sickle cell anemia. They are both living happy and healthy lives thanks to cord blood. It was then that Charis and Anne decided that no more cord blood should go to waste.
Reach Us On: http://www.savethecordfoundation.org