Aug
0

365 Days

Lea Ann Stiller, Matt Farrow and Emily Curry

365 Days

I can’t believe it has been a year ago that we had to say goodbye to “OUR” Natalie.

This past year has been one of change, acceptance, faith, and hope. During this journey, that I thought would be unbearable, I have learned so much. One of the most amazing things was that Natalie had touched so many peoples’ lives in such a short time period. I have been blessed by having the opportunity to meet some of those people in person.

This blog is dedicated to one of those individuals, Matt Farrow. For many of you that will read this, you already know who he is. For those who don’t,  I will attempt to give you a brief glimpse into his life. Matt has Fanconi Anemia, like Natalie did. Matt had a perfect matched sibling, born just a couple of months after Natalie’s match, Emily,  in 1988. Matt had the first umbilical cord blood transplant 11 months prior to Natalie’s in the same hospital in Paris by the same doctor. Matt and Natalie never had the opportunity to meet. She often spoke of Matt and always wanted to meet him. Fortunately, this past year has given me the opportunity to meet Matt. He is as wonderful as I had always envisioned him to be.  Full of love, optimism, and promise!

Prior to Natalie’s death, I made her a promise to never leave the field of umbilical cord blood. I have been given a wonderful opportunity to work for the world’s best cord blood company, CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank. Here, I was reunited with all of the pioneers of the cord blood industry, including the founder, Dr. Hal Broxmeyer,  and also Matt Farrow. The entire team is fabulous and I feel very blessed to be working with them everyday to change, save, and improve lives.

I know there is a very happy Angel watching and smiling from Heaven.

Natalie,

Thank you for showing all of us how to live, love, and laugh… even during the most difficult times.

Love and miss you everyday!

MOM

 

 

 

Jun
0

The Vision of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB)

As discussed in my webinar with Dr. Kramer in late January, All Eyes on Cord Blood, stem cells from Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) are being used to treat debilitating eye and vision disorders in premature babies.

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disorder that primarily affects premature babies. ROP is caused by an abnormal growth of blood vessels that damage the retina.  Every year about 15,000 babies are affected.  Two teams from the Centre for Vision and Vascular Science at Queen’s University Belfast are researching different methods of treatment for babies affected by ROP.  The team led by Dr. Derek Brazil is aiming their focus at the potential for stem cell treatments from the babies’ own UCB. Dr Brazil believes it may be possible to protect babies from ROP, and save their sight, by treating them with a special type of stem cell taken from their own umbilical cords. Dr. Brazil and his colleagues were awarded a two-year grant from children’s charity, Action Medical Research, to pursue this life changing work.

CorCell, A Cord Blood America Company, partners with many Insurance Institutions to provide important literature and discounts to their members encouraging them to understand the value of UCB. Visit their website to see if your Insurance Company is a current partner @ http://www.corcell.com/insurance-partners/ or call 1-888-882-2673.

Umbilical cord blood is continuously proving itself invaluable.  Don’t risk tossing it in the trash when you may need it for a treatment or cure.

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

 

Jun
2

Interesting Facts on Cord Blood Transplants!

 I feel that cord blood transplants are more associated with children than adults. Today while reading an article about this topic I realized that this is a common misunderstanding.  It is often times more difficult to have success with adult cord blood transplants simply because of the amount of stem cells required. Doctors are now working on ways to increase the amount of stem cells found inside cord blood. This is a HUGE breakthrough! This makes  educational awareness of cord blood preservation even more  important since they can also be used for adult patients.

 A perfect or near perfect match is usually preferred for a Bone marrow transplant. For cord blood transplants however the match doesn’t need to be as close! Which makes finding a cord blood donor easier.  Since stem cells found in cord blood are the newest (youngest) form of  blood cell there are often times less complications. 

Every time a child is born even if they are healthy and have no immediate use for cord blood, it is still so important to store it! You never know who might need it in the future.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

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