Victoria Angel’s public cord blood bank is important for six key reasons:
Stem cells are intriguing. Stem cells are to this generation as pharmaceuticals and penicillin were to generations before us. Stem cells have the potential to change science and medicine in ground breaking ways in the areas of transplant, regenerative medicine, and cellular therapies. People are intrigued by our stories of success using stem cells.
Our program is unique. Few people or organizations have the expertise and experience required to effectively manage a public cord blood program. This innovative program is one of only three public cord blood programs in Canada. In addition, it has achieved the highest level of accreditation that is recognized internationally by the Federation of Cellular Therapy – FACT.
We can help all ethnic groups. Cord blood is used to treat diseases in all ethnic groups. Some treatable diseases are prevalent in specific ethnic groups: Sickle cell anemia (African Americans), Thalassemia (Italians and Greeks), TaySachs (Jewish). In addition, Asians, Aboriginals, and people with mixed ethnic backgrounds have specific needs for cord blood. Canada is the perfect place to recruit cord blood from all ethnic groups.
We can help all Canadians. Our stem cell units are available to all Canadians in need including physicians, patients and research scientists. Our public cord blood bank strives to be “the bank made for Canadians, by Canadians.”
We can help all ages.The most common use for cord blood stem cells is the treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia. Leukemia is common in young children between the ages of 2 and 8 and also in older adults over 65. According to the Lymphoma Society of Canada, the incidence of leukemia is increasing in young adults between the age of 18 and 35. In addition, our educational materials target young expectant parents and new grandparents in order to recruit new cord blood donors.
We can save lives. Umbilical cord blood stem cells provide a cure that is already tried, tested and true to treat 80 different diseases. Cord blood saves lives.