Save Mandi's Life with Your Cord Blood Stem Cells
Mandi Schwartz is a 22 year-old junior at Yale, where she plays forward for the women's hockey team. She is also fighting leukemia, a blood cancer that is destroying her bone marrow and rendering her stem cells useless. The only way she will survive this battle with cancer is with a bone marrow or a cord blood stem cell transplant. A partial-match bone marrow donor has been identified, but transplants using partial-matches often result in life-threating graft-versus-host response. Cord blood stem cells are the same stem cells as those in bone marrow, but partial-matches from cord blood stem cells result in complications much less often. Cord blood can be donated easily by pregnant women and can be collected from the umbilical cord post-birth with no danger to the mother or to the child. If you are pregnant, please consider donating your umbilical cord to the organization that can save Mandi's (or someone else's) life. How? Start by visiting http://becomemyhero.org. If you are pregnant, there is a non-invasive way to determine whether or not your baby's cord blood might be a match to someone whose life could be saved by your donation. To learn more about Mandi Schwartz, please click here. You can also sign a petition regarding stem cell transplants.
On a personal note, Mandi's cousin-in-law, Susan, and I were exchange students in a tiny little town in France during high school. Susan and I recently reconnected on Facebook and came to learn that we were both fighting serious illnesses. When I saw Mandi's story on Facebook, it served as a call to action. Please, consider helping my friend's family and others in need through your cord blood stem cell donation. Imagine: by giving your baby life, you can save someone else's. Is there anything more beautiful than that gift?
This is an original post to the Silicon Valley Moms Blog by Roxane Dover, who chronicles her family's antics on Rox and Roll. Please note that cord blood stem cell recruitment programs often do compensate recruiters and donors, but I am writing this piece solely to help my friend's family; I have not been offered (nor would I accept) any compensation for it.