Of all the things I’ve ever donated in life, giving blood has been the easiest. It causes me no financial pain and yet it still does a world of good for those in need. What I give is naturally replenished in my own body, causing exactly zero discomfort to me. Finally, as an added bonus, it’s a donation I’m happy to give knowing that someday I may need it myself.
In fact, I only have one regret when it comes to donating to Canadian Blood Services, and that’s cord blood. Knowing the good it can do for those with serious illnesses, I would have donated my daughters’ cord blood without hesitation. Unfortunately, when I gave birth to my daughters, now 10 and 12, I had never heard of this type of donation.
Available in four cities and 5 hospitals across Canada now (Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver and Brampton), pregnant women can now donate their cord blood to Canadian Blood Services without interfering with the natural process of delivery. In my opinion this is a highly meaningful donation to make when children are first born. Not to get too philosophic here but a life giving life that then goes on to save a life is a great way to enter the world.
Blood in the umbilical cord and placenta is rich with stem cells. Stem cells gathered from cord blood have unique advantages over stem cells collected through other means. One of the most important advantages is that it is much easier to match transplant patients with cord blood because an exact match is not needed. You can only imagine what this means to people awaiting transplants, and let’s face it, the parents that love them. There are more than 80 diseases that currently can be treated with cord blood and research continues in this field bringing even more hope to patients here in Canada.
When I want to give blood, I simply head to the Canadian Blood Services website and enter in my address to find clinics near me. It’s just as easy to give cord blood.
Simply visit the Canadian Blood Services site and download the Cord Blood Donation eKit for your area. After reading it carefully, give your consent form to your healthcare provider during one of your prenatal visits and let them know you’d like to donate. There is no significant risk to your or your baby in donating, since all collection of cord blood happens after delivery.
Here is my hope for the future. I hope that someday cord blood donation becomes as common as blood donation in Canada. I hope that as second-nature as it is to fill out a baby registry, mothers who able to donate to the National Public Cord Bank, download the ekit and fill out the sosend forms for cord blood donation. I hope that every person who can benefit from a cord blood stem cell donation will not have to wait.
We live in an amazing age for medical science. Its good news for all of us and thankfully, incredibly easy for to help.
This post has been sponsored by Canadian Blood Services, but the images and opinions are my own. For more information, please visit https://blood.ca.