The Building Blocks of New Beginnings

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?

  • It's different. Cord blood stem cells are not the same as embryonic stem cells; cord blood cells come from the afterbirth of the delivery of every baby.
  • It's painless. Donation doesn’t require surgery, harm mother or child or interfere with the birthing process. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect. Cord blood has a broader match potential than bone marrow so the patient and donor don’t have to be a “perfect match.”
  • It's younger and faster. Cord blood stem cells are the “youngest” and most adaptable form of cells, making it easier for a transplant patients' body to accept these cells.
  • It's resistant. Cord blood stem cells can be more resistant to infection, have fewer side effects after transplant and may require fewer post-transplant drugs than bone marrow stem cells.
  • It's worldwide. Every unit that meets banking criteria is listed on the Be The Match registry and accessible worldwide for patients in need.
  • It’s free to donate your cord blood to the GenCure Cord Blood CenterCheck this screening tool to see if you’re eligible to donate.
  • It's simple. If you’re delivering at one of our participating hospitals, all you need to do is notify your nurse of your wish to donate when you’re admitted. If you're not sure if you're delivering at a participating hospital or would like to request a collection kit, contact us at 800-292-5534 ext. 1865 or by email at cordblood@gencure.org.

Who benefits from cord blood?

Because more than 70% of children and adults requiring a bone marrow transplant don’t have an immune-matched sibling who could be a donor, finding an unrelated donor through cord blood registries provides a vital option for treatment. Immune types are specific to ethnic groups, so it’s important to collect cord blood units from donors of all backgrounds, especially Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and Native Americans.

Our banked cord blood units are listed with the Be The Match registry and may be requested by transplant centers for patients in need of a cord blood transplant at any time.

What can cord blood treat?

Help us inform our community about how the birth of a new baby can bring new opportunities for life all over the world.

For more information on cord blood, visit our GenCure website here

To read our last blog, click here.