Give Life Twice By Donating Cord Blood

You can make an incredible contribution to the lives of others by donating cord blood

If you’re preparing to give birth, you’ve got a lot on your mind: deciding whether to use a doctor or a midwife, writing a birth plan, packing your hospital bag, arranging childcare for any children you already have, and—what’s that other thing?—psyching yourself up for the amazing but terrifying task of bringing a human into this world.

So it might escape your attention that you can actually make an incredible contribution to the lives of others with one simple but critical decision—the decision to donate your newborn’s cord blood.

What’s the deal with cord blood? The blood from your baby’s umbilical cord is chock full of blood-forming stem cells that can save the lives of people with terrible diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma—more than 80 diseases and disorders, in fact. Cord blood is easier to match with transplant patients because an exact match isn’t required. That means you can quite literally give life twice with this critical donation —first by giving birth, then by saving the life of one of almost 1,000 people searching for a donor in Canada.

Sadly, most Canadians who need stem-cell transplants rely on donations from people outside our country, but The National Public Cord Blood Bank is helping to turn that situation around. It’s part of the Canadian Blood Services One Match Stem Cell and Marrow Network, which recruits healthy people who are not relatives of those waiting for a transplant to donate their stem cells.

So how does this work? With your permission, Canadian Blood Services collects your baby’s cord blood at the time of delivery. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to arrange for this to happen. Just go to the Canadian Blood Services website to read and download a cord blood donation kit. You simply fill out the form and bring it with you to one of your prenatal appointments, or to the hospital when you give birth. The process of collecting the blood will not complicate your delivery at all. That’s because the collection takes place after your baby is delivered and while you’re enjoying those first few snuggles with your newborn. Cord blood banking is available in Ottawa, Brampton, Edmonton and Vancouver at select hospitals.

Still not sure? Watch this video to learn about Amy and her son Nate, whose life was saved by a cord blood donation after he’d been diagnosed at just 11 weeks with a rare immune disorder.

So download your cord blood e-kit now. And if you’d like more information, check out these frequently asked questions on the Canadian Blood Services website.

This post has been sponsored by Canadian Blood Services, but the images and opinions are my own.

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