Giving the Gift of Life
What if your baby could save a life the day he or she is born?
Your donation to the Hawaii Cord Blood Bank can make this happen.
The Hawaii Cord Blood Bank is an independent, non-profit, community service organization whose mission is to provide matching umbilical cord blood units that might help save the lives of patients in need of stem cell transplant.
Donating Cord Blood
Frequently Asked Questions: What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the leftover blood in a baby’s umbilical cord that contains special life-giving cells that can be purified and stored.
Ounce for ounce, cord blood is far richer in these powerful stem cells than bone marrow. Instead of being thrown away, which is what often happens to the baby’s umbilical cord after delivery, the blood from the umbilical cord can be saved and stored. These banked cells may give a person a second chance at life by allowing them to have a transplant.
How is cord blood collected?
In routine deliveries, cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord after the baby is delivered and the cord is cut. The entire procedure takes five minutes or less and is painless and safe.
How much does it cost?
The Hawaii Cord Blood Bank is a public bank. There is no charge to donor families who contribute their newborn baby’s cord blood. The cord blood donation is completely free and anonymous.
Should I privately store my baby’s cord blood just in case my child later developed leukemia, and needed a transplant?
Umbilical cord blood contains the same kinds of cells as those found in bone marrow. Leukemias are cancers of these bone marrow cells, so giving patients their own cells back in the form of their umbilical cord blood would be tempting fate by allowing the whole cancer-forming process to start all over again. The best source of cells for these kinds of transplants is someone else.
Who can donate?
There is an especially high need worldwide for donors of Asian, Polynesian, or mixed ethnicity, however Hawaii Cord Blood Bank welcomes any interested donors. If the mother is at least 18 years old, in good health and is having a normal singleton pregnancy, chances are good that baby’s cord blood will be eligible for donation.
Why is cord blood donation important?
Despite the large number of volunteers in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), more than 30 percent of patients without a family match are unable to find a suitably matched unrelated donor. This is especially true for those of Asian, Polynesian and mixed ethnic ancestry. These ethnic groups are among the most diverse of all those that are represented in the NMDP. Relative to their proportion in the general population, Asian/Pacific Islander and mixed ethnic patients are the most under represented in the NMDP, and face the most difficulty in finding donors. Many of these patients wait months or even die before a matching donor can be located. That’s why there’s an urgent need for more donors from these groups.
Cord blood can help fill this need. At the present time, cord blood banks provide an excellent complimentary source of stem cells to the bone marrow registries. Hawaii’s ethnic diversity poses a special challenge, but also provides us with a unique opportunity. The Hawaii Cord Blood Bank is a public bank open to anyone seeking a matching donor. It will help make life-saving transplants more available to people here, as well as to ethnic minorities living on the Mainland and in other countries.
Imagine being able to give the gift of life a second time the day your baby is born. To find out how to donate cord blood, please call 983-2265 or visit HCBB.org.