By Bloodworks Northwest, in partnership with Valley Medical Center to give the gift of life
Black Lives Matter is more than a political statement: it is commitment to our community.
Every person who suffers from a blood disease or cancer deserves fair and equitable treatment, but Black and African-American patients seeking life-saving stem cell transplants are significantly less likely to find a match.
We hear stories of Black children around the U.S.—including Dakhiyon, Ryder and Joshua—who need a stem cell transplant, but only have a 29% chance of finding a perfectly matched bone marrow donor. Because of HLA typing, stem cells from the bone marrow or cord blood of a donor from the same ethnic background greatly increases the likelihood of being a match.
Umbilical cord blood helps even the playing field for ethnically diverse populations, but cord blood banks are still lacking in cord blood donations from Black families.
From the Tuskegee Experiments and the genetic history of Henrietta Lacks to today’s institutional medical racism, Black and African-Americans have many reasons to mistrust the healthcare system. For Black History Month, we acknowledge this complex history while we work tirelessly to decrease the disparity of access to fair and equitable medical treatment.
The Cord Blood Donation Program at Bloodworks Northwest is committed to increasing the number of banked cord blood units from Black donors so that children like Dakhiyon, Ryder, and Joshua can receive a cord blood transplant—and so that other families will have hope.
As you prepare for the birth of your new little one, please consider donating your baby’s cord blood. We are excited that our partnership with Valley Medical Center offers this option for expectant families. Donating umbilical cord blood is a simple, safe way to make the birth of your child into someone else’s second chance.