Valley Mothers Saving Lives

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Friday, March 2, 2012 - 12:01pm

When many Valley mothers create a life, they also have the opportunity to save a life.

"Two babies can save an adults life," said Janet Welch, Cord Blood Coordinator at the Women's Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg.

The Texas Cord Blood Bank uses umbilical cord blood and is one of a kind in the state.
Welch says so far, they've been lucky with donations.

"Over 1,600 donations last year alone, and the community here is very good about that."

Because this is blood that is found in the placenta just after the mother gives birth, there are no risk factors when donating.

"This is public banking which means when you donate the blood, it becomes property of the Texas Cord Blood Bank."

The blood collected at the Women's Hospital at Renaissance will get sent to the TCBB in San Antonio where it will be registered into the national database.

"Cancer, diabetes, heart disease...we're finding lots and lots of ways to cure things."

Rosalinda Rios decided to donate her baby's cord blood after learning it could help with medical advancements.

"My mother passed away with cancer and I wish we could have done something more for her," said Rios.

Welch says cord blood is less invasive and starting to help people who need bone marrow transplants but lack a match.

"The cord blood, since it doesn't have to have as many matches, it sometimes work better," said Welch.

Since the blood is banked by ethnicity, they're asking a lot of valley residents, especially those of hispanic descent...to make the choice to donate.

"It's blood that would have been thrown away and now we've found a use for it and it's great," said Welch.

Possible future uses for the donations include cardiac or neurological repair.

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