Archive | 4:05 pm

A gift of cells

11 Mar

bellybuttonExpectant families get a lot of mail. For all you readers who have not been pregnant lately or ever- I can relate it to all that mail you got right after you took the SAT/ACT in high school. Remember all those college brochures and letters (I never knew Pennsylvania had SO many colleges until all those brochures started arriving)- well, it is exactly like that but it is for diapers, formula, baby products, baby stores, baby toys, baby magazines, baby books and cord blood banking.

When we had one of our first appointments with our doctor he asked if we were going to bank or donate our cord blood and I am pretty sure Kerry and I stared blankly at him. We had no idea what he was talking about or what we were going to do. I quickly polled my friends with kids and the general consensus was to donate or do nothing. But, I kept getting all this mail about private banking and storage so after lots of research and questions at the doctor’s office, we decided to donate Baby V’s cord blood to National Marrow Donor Program. Like bone marrow, cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases. Kerry and I have both had friends and family who have suffered from diseases that cord blood could help so we decided that public donation would allow us to help just a little. Our hope is that Baby V’s cells help one person. Or it is used for research to help find cures for diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Multiple Myeloma, Juvenile Leukemia or any other disease and that could help lots of people. Even though we will never know if it helped, it is nice to think it will.

We filled out a huge packet of forms, got the doctor’s signature and sent in our paperwork. I had a very nice phone conversation with the cord blood bank about the steps that would happen going forward and we will be getting our cord blood collection kit this week. We will just have to take it to the hospital with us and remind them to call within two hours of delivery to have the courier come pick it up.

All very simple. So, there is my public service announcement for the day!