July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month
July is National Cord Blood Awareness month! We’re celebrating by spreading the word about cord blood and hosting a virtual balloon release. Cord blood is the term used for the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta (after birth) when a healthy baby is born. It is rich in blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases. Established by the Newborn Umbilical Cord Initiative Act in March 2007, the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas at UAMS is linked to national and international networks of cord blood banks of cells for transplant all over the world.
All cord blood is tremendously valuable. Even if the cord blood does not meet the requirements to be banked, it finds a second life in furthering research. Cord blood has tremendous promise for regenerating diseased or injured organs, including heart muscle, bone and spinal cord tissue. Whereas bone marrow or circulating blood requires near-perfect matches between donor and recipient, cord blood is more adaptable.
Daohong Zhou, M.D., a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UAMS College of Pharmacy, is investigating the potential for cord blood to treat patients with various hematological diseases, such as leukemia. “We are studying ways to make cord blood transplantation more widely available,” he said. “Primitive cells exist in greater numbers cord blood than in the blood we adults carry, but the total number of cells in cord blood needs to be expanded to be clinically useful. Using donated cord blood, our findings on control of primitive cell expansion may unlock new strategies for transplantation so that we can more effectively treat hematological diseases and malignancies.”
Despite how life-changing cord blood can be for both recipients and research, it is still often discarded due to a lack of understanding about what it means to donate cord blood.
During National Cord Blood Awareness month, we are asking you to help spread the word about the importance of donating cord blood. Please share this with your friends and family and consider a gift to celebrate this month!
Your gift of $1,400 sponsors a Compassionate Needs Storage
A gift to Compassionate Needs Storage would make funds available to assist families that have a medical need to bank their child’s cord blood for family use due to disease or disorder, but do not have sufficient financial means to do so.
Your gift of $150 sponsors a cord blood collection kit.
Collection kits are made available to parents at no cost when they are donating their child’s cord blood to the public bank. Your gift helps to ensure that kits are available to continue collecting these valuable cells.
Your gift of $50 sponsors a ‘virtual balloon’.
Let your support fly high and carry on the message cord blood donation with a ‘virtual balloon’. Our ‘virtual balloons’ represent the uplifting hope and life that cord blood can provide, and they create awareness by spreading the word to others about cord blood donation.
Your gift of any amount may be made in honor, or memory, of someone special.
Gifts of all amounts are appreciated as they go directly to support the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas.
”The birth of a baby holds with it a miracle most parents aren’t aware of – the ability to save a life,” said Donna Wolfe, advisory board chair for the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas. “Cord blood donation is important because it holds the promise of future cures. Your gift celebrates the progress that has been made to date in cord blood treatment and helps ensure cord blood continues to save lives.”
To learn more about the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas and how you can be involved, please go to www.cordbloodbankarkansas.org.
Give Today, and Save a Life Tomorrow
The Arkansas Commission for the Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Initiative and UAMS are working together to raise funds for the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas’ operating expenses. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas or by hosting an event in your home to raise awareness and support for the CBBA.
To make a donation, you may donate online through the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences website (link will open in new window). Be sure to put ‘Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas’ in the area labeled “Fund Name” to ensure your donation goes to the CBBA. If you’d rather donate with a check, you may download the Pledge Form and mail the completed form with your check, made payable to the UAMS Foundation Fund, to:
UAMS Institutional Advancement
Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas
4301 W. Markham St., #716
Little Rock, AR 72205-7199
Those looking to donate in the early part of the year have another way to give to the CBBA. For the past three years, the Arkansas State Income Return has featured a box that taxpayers can check to have part of their tax return automatically donated to the CBBA. For more information on this, please check out this video:
The Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas will be able to open its doors due in large part to the generosity of local donors. Your support will help Arkansas lead the nation in cord blood banking by establishing the first statewide combined public and private cord blood bank. With further research and an efficient banking system, more than 100 million Americans and two billion people worldwide suffering from diseases could potentially be treated or cured by cord blood transplants.Donate Online