Monday, June 27, 2011

donate umbilical cord blood.

As you know, this month I am encouraging people to register to be a bone marrow donor, and educating people about Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) through the Matthew And Andrew Akin Foundation. I've been talking a lot about donating your bone marrow, but there is another easy way to save a life if you're not into needles. But, there is one need to be pregnant :)

Umbilical cord blood kit
Did you know that you can donate the cord blood from your umbilical cord, and it can save someones life? Did you also know, if you don't choose to donate it or store it for your own family, they just throw it away? It seems kind of silly to me to simply throw away something that could save a life--but not a lot of people know donating it is an option. So, listen up mommas :)

Just like bone marrow, cord blood is rich in the blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other life threatening diseases (like HLH!). These cells are no longer needed after your baby has been delivered. There is no cost to you to donate, and they do not take any blood from you or the baby. 

You need to register BEFORE your 34th week of pregnancy, in order to get the paperwork, testing and registration done in time. Click here to register. After you do that, when you go into labor, be sure to tell the labor and delivery team you are donating your cord blood. When your baby comes out safe and sound, the umbilical cord is clamped and blood from the cord and placenta is collected. Then, it is sent to a cord blood bank, checked to see if it's large enough, tested for contamination, frozen and stored until a match is found. Your donation is listed on the registry by a number to protect your family's privacy, then used to save a life.

My sister's cord blood!
So please, if you are pregnant now, or plan to be in the future--please consider doing this. There is no extra work for you, no cost, no extra trip to the hospital. You're already there giving life to one child--give life to another too.
Click here if you are interested in donating cord blood and would like to read the FAQ. Or click here to go through the simple steps of registering. 

Also, thank you to my wonderful sister and her husband, who just gave birth to their first child, Joslyn....and donated their cord blood. Love all three of you SO much :) 

Be the change. Make the difference. 

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