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Sunday, December 21, 2008

He's now a normal little boy: Cord blood donation

Happy Chanukah to our Jewish friends – tonight is the first night of the holiday. Jews celebrate the miracle in which a small amount of oil burned for eight full days, long enough to illuminate their temple restoration work.

Today's blog post tells of the vastly disproportionate restorative effect of a small amount of a very different fluid – a modern miracle. And it even gives you a holiday gift suggestion; read on.

Jack’s story:

Jack was born a healthy little boy but at around six months old he developed a simple cold. During the day he appeared to have recovered from his cold but at night he couldn't seem to shake off a persistent cough. Jack was admitted to hospital where blood tests revealed he was suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). SCID is a rare, inherited disorder causing a severe abnormality of the immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight infections. It can be fatal if left untreated.

Upon diagnosis, Jack was transferred immediately to the intensive care unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where they began the search for a stem cell transplant – Jack's only chance of survival. A perfect match to Jack's tissue type was found with a cord blood donor and on November 7th 2003, Jack received his life-saving cord blood transplant.

Steve and Ruth, Jack’s parents, said, "Looking at Jack now, you'd never know he'd once been so ill. He's now a normal little boy who goes to playgroup and plays with his toys. The cord blood donor gave us the chance of life for Jack and we will be forever grateful."

Ken's advice for an inexpensive, meaningful and readily available last-minute holiday gift: If you're having a baby, donate his or her umbilical cord blood. If you're not, call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) to schedule a blood donation by you and your family.

Read a story about a man who survived with the help of numerous blood transfusions.

Thanks to the British National Health Service Cord Blood Bank for the source story on their web site.

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