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Monday, March 2, 2015

Cord blood, a new hope for Leukemia

A video of a mother from Quebec fighting against leukemia recently went viral in YouTube. Her desperate plea – to find a compatible umbilical cord donor, the only hope for her second battle against leukemia.
Mai Duong, a 34-year-old Vietnamese-Canadian mother is among the many patients diagnosed of cancer every four minutes. Leukemia - cancer of the body’s tissues that are responsible for forming blood including bone marrow and lymphatic system is among the top eight common cancers in the Philippines.

I can relate to her story at some point as I had an older sister who died of this sickness. I did not get the chance to meet her because she died when I was only a baby. I only knew about her through my mom's stories and some of my eldest brother's recollection of her. It happened two decades ago and I could not imagine how painful it was for my parents to have to struggle with my ate's illness.

Normally, the body produces and grows the white blood cells in an orderly way. But for people with leukemia, their bone marrow produces white blood cells that are abnormal either in number or function.
 The symptoms of the disease varies from fever or chills, persistent fatigue and weakness, frequent or severe infections, unexpected weight loss, swelling of lymph nodes, bruising or bleeding easily, frequently recurring nosebleeds, visible red spots, bone pain or tenderness and excessive sweating at night.
Beyond the physical pain that leukemia patients experience, they are also susceptible to emotional stress and anxiety. And when it comes to the trauma and emotional pain, the patient’s family is no exception.  Studies showed that anxiety and posttraumatic stress are common to leukemia patients’ families during and even after suffering from the condition. Researchers found that childhood cancer treatment has a long-term impact on parents and families, thus, highlighting the need for psychological interventions during and after the cancer treatment.

But what gives the patients and their families a sense of hope for recovery is the life-saving effects of stem cell transplantation, including that from umbilical cord blood. 

 “Cord blood opens the door to provide transplants to thousands of leukemia patients who otherwise would not get a transplant,” said Mary J. Laughlin, M.D., of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, in an article published by the Journal of National Cancer Institute[i]i.

Today, Filipinos can now benefit from these breakthroughs in cancer study by banking their babies’ stem cell-rich cord blood. This unique, highly-advanced service is now available in the country through Cordlife Philippines’ cord blood banking service which helps parents protect their child from the dangers of life-threatening diseases including leukemia.
This being so, would give hope to other people that there is now a solution to Leukemia. Deaths of this same sickness can now be prevented and more families will get to enjoy each others company longer. It is also up to us to spread this new technology and make people more aware of the wonders of the umbilical cord. 
“Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most riveting and revolutionary areas of medicine today. While this could be a leap from the traditional treatments available, my fellow doctors and I do recognize cord blood stem cell transplantation as a standard form of treatment for various blood disorders, specially leukemia” Dr. Arvin Faundo, Medical Director of Cordlife Philippines.
With continuous advancement in cord blood stem cell applications, it’s imperative that parents seize the one chance to save their baby’s cord blood. For more information, download Cordlife’s FREE infopack @ or call them at (02) 332 – 1888.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this informative blog Ms. Jho. I t's good to know that there's hope for every patient with leukemia. I will share this to my family.



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