Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” recently shared the story of a fellow cancer survivor,¹ Kirsten Riemer. While both Robin and Kirsten can trace their successful treatments to a stem cell transplant, there’s a big difference in their stories.
After Robin was diagnosed with cancer, she received a life-saving transplant of bone marrow stem cells from her sister. Robin was fortunate that her sister was a close enough HLA match. HLA typing is performed before a stem cell transplant to determine if immune systems are compatible between the donor and the person receiving the transplant.
Kirsten wasn’t as lucky. Diagnosed with leukemia, the 34-year-old working mother also needed a stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, no suitably matched donors could be identified to donate stem cells for a bone marrow transplant.
Newborn stem cells to the rescue
When Kirsten’s care team suggested using stem cells from cord blood, she was unfamiliar with the option.
Kirsten soon learned that cord blood – a rich source of stem cells – allows for more flexibility in HLA matching,² so recipients who may not be able to find a close enough match for bone marrow or peripheral blood donation may still be able to find a match for cord blood.
Six years after receiving a cord blood transplant using a sample from a public bank, Kirsten has made a full recovery. This life-changing experience has made her a strong advocate for increasing awareness of cord blood stem cells as an option for patients requiring a stem cell transplant.
Cord blood is creating new transplant opportunities
Preservation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
Expecting a child? Have friends or family who are expecting a child or grandchild? Enroll with us today or visit our Refer A Friend page to start referring. When someone you refer preserves with Insception Lifebank, you’ll get a cheque or storage credit — and they’ll receive an exclusive discount when they enroll to store their baby’s stem cells*.
1. Roberts, Robin. “Woman saved by ‘cord blood’ transplant: How it’s helping more bone marrow transplant recipients.” Good Morning America, October 17, 2022, https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/wellness/story/woman-saved-cord-blood-transplant-helping-bone-marrow-91605160. 2. Kogler, G. (2020). Cord Blood Stem Cells. In: Brand-Saberi, B. (eds) Essential Current Concepts in Stem Cell Biology. Learning Materials in Biosciences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-33923-4_3
* Referral program applies only to existing Insception Lifebank clients (“Referring Clients”) referring new clients to Insception (“Referred Clients”). Referring Clients must accept the terms of promotion and join Insception before receiving client referral rewards. Referred Client must enroll using the referral link provided by Referring Client or mention Referring Client when enrolling over the phone. Discounts may not be combined with other offers. Full terms and conditions can be found here.