family and cord blood

This family turned to cord blood after diagnosis

Today, the miracles of cord blood cell treatment are making rounds globally! It has saved the health of adults and children suffering from life-threatening diseases, with less to zero chance of recovery. The likes of autoimmune diseases and leukaemia are few to name. 1998 was when the first cord blood cell transplant occurred. This was the starting point that encouraged families across the globe to have faith in cord blood stem cells to treat irreversible diseases back to normalcy. Success stories are a plenty today. One such story of a family who turned to cord blood cells to save their daughter is heart-touching and motivating.

Jesus and Karina DeLeon, today, consider public cord blood donation to be the blessing that helped them save their little daughter Valentina, who is 7 years now and is leading a healthy life. However, things used to be very grim before.

Valentina post 5 months of her birth was experiencing excruciating health conditions which propelled her mother to completely stop breastfeeding. The little one, all of a sudden developed digestive problems in the body. By 9 months of age Valentina was diagnosed with an acute lung infection. Her parents have been attempting have their baby for a decade and now that they have their little one, they feared the deteriorating health condition and were concerned if they would be able to save her.

Reflecting back on those dark days, Karina shares that she instinctively knew something was wrong with her kid and she used to record low-range fever almost every day. When Valentina was taken to the hospital her reports appeared shockingly abnormal. Both the diagnosis and prognosis shocked them. Post many blood tests along with a bone marrow biopsy, it was evident that the little one was affected with SCID, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency which is an uncommon genetic disorder making the immune cells function abnormally. With this Valentina’s survival chance was not more than 30%.

In their relentless attempts to save their daughter and also a bone marrow match, the family chanced upon a public cord blood bank located in San Antonio. They learned that cord blood cells comprise of hematopoietic stem cells that has the capacity to get converted into almost any kind of blood cell. On transplanting these cells to the bone marrow, they work as proper, functional cells and thus start to heal diseases, for instance immune deficiencies, blood imbalances, metabolic abnormalities, life threatening cancers and other unusual genetic disorders, even the one that Valentina was suffering from.

The process of cord blood storing is very easy and secure for both the mother and the baby. It has no adverse effect on either the labor or the delivery. Also, the DNA specimen that is required to procure the match can be managed with just one easy swab examination. The parents of the concerned child are required to inform the obstetrician that they want to donate. When no family record of genetic disorders is found, the cord blood which otherwise would have been discarded would be used by families that genuinely require it.

When it comes to public cord blood banking there is a higher chance that the donation is going to be used to treat some or the other critical medical condition. This is what Dr. Joanne Stone, Maternal Foetal Medicine Specialist, Mount Sinai Health Care, New York had to say as opposed to private banking, where only one family has the chance to use the cord blood cells, that too if ever there arises a need.

Parents like Karina and Jesus DeLeon has benefited with public cord blood banking. According to them, it’s always a great choice to simply go ahead and donate an infant’s cord blood cell for the sake of saving someone in this whole wide world. It’s the best humane gesture a human can show for humanity.


Success Stories

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