Umbilical Cord Blood is a precious commodity in treatment of diseases like leukemia, sickle cell anemia and immune deficiencies.

Cord blood in rich in life saving stem cells. Unfortunately the cords are often still tossed into the trash because most women don’t know how or where to donate. It is the best insurance they can give to their children.

Storing cord blood costs $1,000 to $2,000 upfront and about $100 annually.Their lack of awareness prevents them to store the cord-blood in non-profit public banks to help people including their children in need of stem-cell transplants.

Chicago’s Rhonda Kottke received a double cord-blood transplant at age 29 through ItxM to treat acute myeloid leukemia.”It was a complete rebirth”,said Kottke,”My immune system is as normal as anyone who never had leukemia.”

The National Marrow Donor Program, a coordinated network of 14 public banks that provides a registry and search database for both cord blood and bone marrow, is working to have 150,000 blood units available in the U.S. by 2007. Currently about 43,000 units are available.

A Chicagoan Maggie Wade, 35, heard about Kottke through a friend.Through her own research she found ItxM and decided to donate the cord of her second child, P.J,now 5 1/2 months.

“I’ve told every pregnant woman I know across the country to do it,” Wade said.

To donate to a public bank: Mothers must call the ITxM Cord Blood Program (1-877-GIV-CORD) before their due date.

There is no risk, no cost, no pain and no interruption to the delivery process.

To privately store your child’s umbilical cord: Three of the larger private storage companies are Cord Blood Registry (www.cordblood.com); Cryo-Cell (www.cryo-cell.com) and Viacord (www.viacord.com)

Link [www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/living/12366887.htm]