5/17/2007: The Gift of a Cure


Donating a newborn's umbilical cord
might someday save a life
By Deborah Kotz
Posted 5/13/07 [From U.S. News & World Report]
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As we move forward to the autologous stem stell transplant for my mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), we know that this procedure is a temporary fix, that the effect may last for months or several years to sustain remission.

What we also know is that the only real cure now known is the allogeneic transplant (external donor), but since a donor match has not been found, we don't know when or if that option is available for my case.

The following report gives us hope that there may be another option: stem cells from umbilical cords, a donation for life from a newborn and his/her parents. Sounds like science fiction? Read on ...
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"When 6-year-old Hayden Zavareei developed anaggressive form of leukemia, the odds were stacked against her. She desperately needed a bone marrow transplant to replace her cancerous blood cells, but neither her sisters nor the worldwide registry of willing donors could provide a match. Her frantic parents searched for other answers-and found one, to their relief, in a vial at a public blood bank at Duke University Medical Center .

Today, 2 1/2 years after receiving an infusion of stem cells at Duke from a donated umbilical cord, Hayden is a cancer-free third grader. 'Every day is such a blessing,' says her father, Hassan, 38, a Bethesda , Md. , attorney. 'I can't help thinking how this baby saved her life.'
SEE FULL STORY in U.S. News & World Report (click here)

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