Why Cord Blood Banking Is Important, Especially For Minorities

BANKING STEM CELLS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR MINORITIES. When families find out they are having a child, the most common concern is to ensure that the baby is healthy. One may not anticipate their child encountering major health issues. Saving stem cells is something that many consider, but not as many follow through. The thought of using an available public stem cell supply may prevent parents from storing cord blood and tissue. Ever stop to think about the possibility of none being readily available if you did need it? This is actually a question which you should be asking yourself; especially if you are considered a minority. WHY THE LIMITED AVAILABILITY? HLA is an exam in which the stem cell sample and the prospective recipient are tested to determine if there is an acceptable match prior to transfusion. This test will help to prevent GVH or graft v host disease. Many may not be aware, however, that compatibility with a stem cell sample and a transfusion recipient will vary amongst different ethnicities. “In the United States in 2012, National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry reported that 63% of adult donors were Caucasian, 27% were of a minority group, and 10% reported unknown.” There is little chance for minorities to find a matching <unrelated> donor due to having more HLA types which must match for transfusion, than others. Of all minorities, African Americans are least likely to find a match. Some factors believed to be the cause of the scarcity of stem cell donors include:
  1. Religious beliefs
  2. Myths (high pricing and invasiveness)
  3. Lack of awareness
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. So often are people reliant upon public donations to repair health issues. If presented with the option to store stem cells, to ensure a healthy life and guaranteed back up plan for your child, would you seize the opportunity? “Each year, thousands of people die from leukemia, aplastic anemia, and other life-threatening diseases.” What if there was a way these deaths could be prevented? Well, there is! Instead of waiting until a disease threatens the life of your loved ones, be proactive. There is no guarantee that you will find a match, if you are in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. The best way to ensure a match is to preserve your own. Storing stem cells does not have to be expensive. The procedure is not invasive, completely painless to mother and child, and there are numerous resources online to help you learn more about the uses of stem cells from cord blood. For a list of diseases treated with stem cells, please click this link. https://www.alphacord.com/cord-blood-stem-cells-diseases-treated/ For more information about Cord Blood &amp Cord Tissue Banking Prices and Payment Plans, please click here: Disclaimer: AlphaCord does not endorse or make recommendations with respect to research, medications, or treatment. All information provided is for informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice. Sources: www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/qa/what_is_significancee.html http://college.holycross.edu/studentorgs/mix/need_minority_stemcell.htm www.onclive.com/publications/oncology-fellows