We are seeking funding to pay for cord blood stem-cell storage for qualifying families who have a history of cancer, are in receipt of welfare or on a low income, and would therefore be unable to afford the cost of private bio-banking. The goal is to offer vulnerable families the opportunity to store their baby's cord blood for 25 years, which will be available should the child or another member of the family require them. These cells are taken from the umbilical cord at the time of birth.
Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK's mission is to prevent people dying from blood cancer through prevention, research and more effective treatment. Blood cancer is the 3rd biggest cancer killer, claiming more lives than breast or prostate cancer each year. It is the most common type of cancer in children and young people - in fact everyday in the UK 27 people are diagnosed with Leukaemia and sadly 12 people die.
Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK is developing the first free stem-cell storage (or MCB) service to promote 'biological insurance' - where a child's cord-blood stem cells are stored at the time of birth, these can then be used by the child, or another family member, to treat disease. The MCB offers the life-saving option of a transplant for the child, or an immediate relative, and avoids the invasive, painful and expensive procedures of other stem-cell collection, such as bone marrow.
The cord-blood stem cells are stored on behalf of the participant for 25 years. The mother is the legal guardian of the cells until the child reaches the age of majority, at which point, ownership transfers to the child. After 25 years, the cells can be privately stored, donated for research, offered to a public bank, or destroyed. Consent from the child will be sought at this point and we would strongly encourage the donation of any remaining cells to public banks.