Dr. J Speaks About Cord Blood Banking

Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center now makes public and family cord blood banking available. An informational lecture on Jan. 29 will feature Matthew Farrow, recipient of the world’s first successful umbilical cord blood transplant; Dr. Hal Broxmeyer, a pioneer in the cord blood banking and transplant field; and NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, a supporter of cord blood transplant science.


Expectant couples delivering babies at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center now have the option to donate their baby’s umbilical cord blood to a public cord blood bank. Cord blood can be used for life-saving stem cell transplants to treat more than 70 diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.


In addition to Farrow, Broxmeyer and Erving, Stephen Sprague, one of the world’s first adult patients to benefit from a cord blood transplant, and Dr. Edward S. Guindi, obstetrician, president of CORD:USE and member of the National Marrow Donor Program Cord Blood Advisory Group, will speak.


Cord blood is the few ounces of blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta, traditionally discarded following the birth of a baby. Scientists discovered that cord blood contains stem cells and progenitor cells (similar to those in bone marrow) that have the ability to replicate or develop into additional cells that can be used to treat life-threatening diseases.


Scottsdale obstetrician/gynecologist Gina Dado, M.D., is a national umbilical cord stem cell educator for CORD:USE, which is partnering with Scottsdale Healthcare. “Cord blood can be a life-saving option for many children and adults and many more lives would be saved if all families either stored or donated their babies’ cord blood,” says Dado.


Cord blood can be donated to a public bank without any cost, making it widely available for potential use, or banked for a family’s own use in a private umbilical cord blood bank for a fee. Both options are available through CORD:USE and now available at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea.


Congress passed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act in 2005, and more than 30,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide since the first successful transplant was performed in 1988.


The public is invited to the lecture, which is Jan. 29 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center. Seating is limited, and registration is required. A continental breakfast will be served.


At top: Basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Irving, a passionate supporter of cord blood donation, spoke before Congress in 2005 to urge support of legislation funding cord blood stem cell research.


– Submitted by Keith Jones, Scottsdale Healthcare

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