Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital will celebrate the one year anniversary of their cord blood collection centres later this month. They will mark the occasion by inviting BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu group who raised money to fund part of the programme, to visit the centres.
The cord blood collection programme, run by Anthony Nolan, allows mothers to donate their cord blood for use in stem cell transplants as an alternative to finding a matching adult donor. Earlier this month the service was expanded to allow 24/7 collection, meaning mothers can donate their cord whatever time they give birth.
Linda Moss, midwife coordinator for the Leicester cord blood collection units, says, “It’s remarkable to think what we’ve achieved in the year since the collection centres opened. So far we’ve collected over 700 cord units, any one of which could help save the life of a patient with blood cancer.”
BAPS Charities who funded one of the collectors’ posts for a year by raising £22,000, will visit the centre on 15 October. Dr Mayank Shah at BAPS Charities, says, “We’re really excited to see firsthand how our money has helped the cord collection programme. The programme is very important to us, as it’s much harder to find matching donors for South Asian and other black and ethnic minority patients. Having more cord blood units available will speed this process up.”