Stockbridge, Ga. (July 14, 2014) – When Kasey Bradshaw was expecting, she learned a simple donation of her newborn son’s umbilical cord blood could save a life. So when she welcomed Eli into the world in May 2013 at Piedmont Henry Hospital, she watched her doctors collect the cord blood and send it off to LifeCord, a program of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.
“The fact that so many diseases can be cured by the blood from the umbilical cord, I just thought it was really amazing,” said Bradshaw, who lives in Williamson, Ga. “I wanted to give that to someone else.”
Cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening blood diseases.
“If something happened to Eli, I hope there would be somebody who would help him,” said Bradshaw.
Approximately 183 patients in Georgia are searching for an unrelated donor match to save their lives, according to BeTheMatchFoundation.org. An unrelated donor match may come from donors providing bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood stem cells.
Parents interested in donating their baby’s umbilical cord blood after their birth should discuss with their obstetrician or contact Piedmont Henry during their pregnancy. There is no cost to the family when donating umbilical cord blood to LifeCord.
LifeCord was the first public cord blood bank in the Southeast. Piedmont Henry is one of only five hospitals in Georgia who participate in a cord blood donation program. Since the hospital began working with LifeCord in December 2011, more than 1,830 cord blood donations were donated to help save lives globally to patients in need. So far, patients in 28 states and 13 foreign countries have received lifesaving transplants from LifeCord, a public nonprofit cord blood bank.