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Letter to the Editor: Cord-blood donors needed

Letter to the Editor

By Marcie Finney and Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg

With Mother’s Day just past, we would like to honor the mothers who donate umbilical cord blood after their baby’s delivery. After these moms bring new life into the world, their babies’ cord blood brings new hope to thousands of patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, or other life-threatening blood cancers.

The cells from cord blood, which usually are discarded after delivery, have unique lifesaving potential. A cord-blood transplant can be a cure for patients battling blood cancers and other blood disorders.

More donations are needed, especially from African-American and Asian communities, where patients struggle to find matching donors. There is no cost to donate, and simple arrangements to donate your cord blood can be made with your doctor a few months before delivery. We hope that mothers who donate cord blood will share their experience and tell other expectant mothers what a safe, simple process it is. Donated cord-blood units that meet criteria can be listed on the Be The Match Registry for use by anyone who needs a cord-blood transplant.

In the Atlanta area, there are cord-blood donation collection sites at Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory Midtown Hospital, and Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Potential donors can learn more by visiting www.BeTheMatch.org/cord or by contacting Cleveland Cord Blood Center (216-869-0360 or info@clevelandcordblood.org) or Carolinas Cord Blood Bank (919-668-1119 or donateccbb@duke.edu).

(Marcie Finney is the executive director of the Cleveland Cord Blood Center. Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg is the director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank.)