September 2, 2014

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and it aims to shine a light on pediatric cancer, the leading cause of death by disease for American children under 15. Childhood cancers make up less than one percent of all cancers diagnosed each year. About 10,450 children in the United States under age 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014, a rate that's been rising slightly for the past few decades.

The types of cancers children develop are different from the types in adults. Childhood cancers often are the result of DNA changes in cells that take place early in life, sometimes even before birth. Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80 percent of children with cancer now may survive five years or more.

August 6, 2014

The experience of having a loved one touched by a deadly illness is difficult, to say the least. But what must it be like to have two loved ones die at the hands of blood cancer? Three? Four? Most of us couldn’t imagine.

Nurse Donna Nicholson, cord blood coordinator at Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital, endured that reality.

 “In 1990, I had a close cousin diagnosed with leukemia at age 4. It was the first major illness in a child that had hit our large and close family,” said Donna, who’s been a nurse for 34 years.

Then another family member was diagnosed. And another. And another. All four were diagnosed and passed away between 1992 and 2000.

“Two cousins, who were brothers, were diagnosed in their mid-teens; neither made it beyond 22," Donna said. "Then another cousin was diagnosed with leukemia at 27. She died the same year she was diagnosed. She didn’t get a (marrow) match in time.”

July 28, 2014

Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E – affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and causes acute and chronic liver disease. Nearly 1.4 million people die of hepatitis every year, but awareness, detection and treatment of the disease lags behind that of other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. World Hepatitis Day, July 28, brings international focus to viral hepatitis and people living with the disease. 

QualTex Laboratories is committed to making sure lifesaving blood products are free of hepatitis as well as other diseases. The lab tests 500,000 samples of whole blood and more than 7 million samples of source plasma per year.

“In our testing, hepatitis is the disease that results in the most positives samples. On a daily basis, we’re going to have at least one positive sample for hepatitis,” said Scott Jones, VP of Scientific Affairs for QualTex.

July 10, 2014

July is Cord Blood Awareness Month - a great time to celebrate the building blocks of blood and organ tissue found in cord blood!

What is cord blood?

Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells which remains in the placenta after a baby is born. It can be used as an alternative to bone marrow to treat many life-threatening diseases. 

Why is it special?

July 9, 2014

July is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. In celebration, Be The Match of South Texas is reaching out to our community to encourage potential donors from all ethnicities to consider becoming the cure our patients are waiting for. 

Why is it important for minorities to join Be The Match?

Just like our finger prints, DNA makes us all unique. It's also the key to finding a cure for many blood cancers and disorders. Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is a protein – or marker – which communicates to your immune system which cells belong and which do not. It is inherited from both parents, thus the DNA which determines eye and hair color, your ethnicity, etc., also determines which cells are best suited for a particular patient.  

What will a "match" do?

·         Offer a potential cure for blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma and blood disorders like sickle cell anemia.