LETTER: Umbilical cord blood needed

Apr. 23, 2014 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Compassion and generosity are hallmarks of motherhood. As we look forward to this Mother’s Day, there is a singularly meaningful way that expectant mothers can show compassion and give hope to people in need: by donating umbilical cord blood.  

Cord blood, normally disposed of after birth, is unlike any other blood donation. It can be the only potentially life-saving treatment option for thousands of patients suffering from truly devastating blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, as well as for patients with genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia.

The donation process is simple and can be arranged months in advance. It doesn't affect labor or delivery and is safe for moms and babies.   

When you donate your baby's cord blood to a public cord blood bank, such as the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, you pay nothing. Your baby's cord blood will be given an identifying number and be listed on the national Be The Match Registry®, where it is made available to anyone in need of a transplant.

I wish everyone a happy Mother's Day — and thank you for considering a gift of life and hope through a public cord blood donation. For more information, contact the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at (919) 668-1119, or visit BeTheMatch.org/cord.     

Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D.

Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke

Duke University Medical Center