Leukemia patient given own cord blood

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, In The News, Your Pregnancy

A 3-year-old girl got a second chance at life after receiving a stem cell transplant of her own banked stem cells for Leukemia. When the girl, who is now six, was born in 1999, her parents saved some of the cells from her umbilical cord in case she needed them.

When she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, she underwent chemotherapy. She went into remission for a bit, but the cancer came back. That's when her parents and doctors decided to use her stem cells in a stem cell transplant.

This was the first time that someone with Leukemia had a transplant of her own "banked" stem cells.

As a parent, I have seen many ads for stem cell banking. Making the decision to bank and save your child's stem cells is a personal one. Saving them can be costly, but how do you put a cost on a life?

I will say, however, that you can always choose to donate your stem cells. Banked cells only have a storage life of about 10 years, so you can't really consider it a lifetime "backup" if you decide to do a private banking instead of donation.

You can read some of the FAQs about stem cell donation here. If you would like to learn more on how to donate your child's stem cells, you can go to the National Marrow Donor Program.


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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.