The blood in your umbilical cord and placenta is rich in stem cells.
People with blood cancers, like leukaemia, need these blood stem cells to replace their own damaged cells.
Why is cord blood particularly important?
Transplants with stem cells from cord blood have lots of advantages over transplants with donations taken from adults’ blood and bone marrow.
Getting adult donations is a long process. If we find someone a match on our register, we have to run tests on the potential donor, and it takes time to organise the donation and transplant.
Cord blood is available immediately, for people in desperate need.
Also, donors and recipients don’t need to be an exact match, as the stem cells in cord blood aren’t so mature and can develop to suit their recipient. That means it’s easier to find matches and is a good option for people with more unusual tissue types.
Anthony Nolan collects cord blood at four hospitals in London, Manchester, and Leicester. These are hospitals where lots of babies are born every year, and where the local community is ethnically diverse.
We work closely with the NHS cord programme to make sure that, together, we’re meeting the UK need for cord blood. We started our programme to collect cord blood in 2008,and are aiming to collect 15,000 cord blood units.
Could you be our next donor? Register your interest in donating your cord blood now.
‘Someone who we’ve never met donated their cord blood for our child. They gave Sara a chance to fight leukaemia and they saved her life. We will be eternally grateful to every mother who donates their cord blood – it could save someone’s life like it saved our Sara.’
Ewa Mhlanga, mother of 13-year-old Sara, whose life was saved by a cord blood transplant
Do you live in London, Manchester, or Leicester?