19 lives saved, and counting: Cord Blood Awareness Month draws attention to benefits of Arizona Public Cord Blood Program

Proclamation_CordBloodAwarenessMonth_July2015[1]Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed a proclamation making the month of July Cord Blood Awareness Month. The proclamation generates attention about stem-cell-rich umbilical cord blood and how the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program, which TMC is a part of, is saving lives.

Each year, thousands of patients in the United States are diagnosed with a blood cancer or other life-threatening disease. Umbilical cord blood is a prime source of blood stem cells and can be a precious resource to a patient in need of a stem-cell transplant, since the cells can renew themselves and grow into mature blood cells. The advancement has proven to cure and treat as many as 80 diseases. The blood can be collected, stored and made available for transplant to children and adults with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma.

TMC is one of four hospitals in the state, and the only hospital in Southern Arizona, to offer this option to expectant parents as part of this program. The program also partners with the Tucson-based, nonprofit Save the Cord Foundation, which provides education. The Arizona Public Cord Blood Program is funded by the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission. There is no cost to families who choose to publicly donate their baby’s cord blood through this program.

“This proclamation highlights a special program that provides a lifeline to patients in need,” the governor said. “The generous gift of cord blood increases the odds of survival for cancer patients and gives researchers a chance to find a cure for genetic disease.”

Collecting the blood does not hurt the mother or the baby or change a woman’s labor or delivery. “This is a way for parents to give the gift of health to others in need,” said TMC Cord Blood Coordinator Kristen Wilt. “It’s one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on the lives of others.”

One Arizona mom calls the decision to publicly donate a baby’s cord blood, “The best gift a mother can give another mother.”

Since the program’s inception in 2011, 19 cords have been selected for transplant in Arizona, meaning 19 lives have been saved. Since TMC signed on to the program in October 2014, roughly 600 units of cord blood have been collected.

For more information about how to donate your newborn’s cord blood at TMC, please click here.


  1. We are so proud of the State of Arizona for bringing awareness to the life-saving benefits of cord blood! As one of the education partners in Cord Blood Awareness Month, we would like to encourage expectant parents to visit our website, learn about cord blood, learn what your options are and make an informed decision about your newborn’s cord blood. Visit: http://www.savethecordfoundation.org Please don’t let your baby’s cord blood go to waste.


  1. […] Tucson Medical Center: “19 Lives Saved, and counting” […]

  2. […] Umbilical cord has blood-forming cells. These cells are collected, stored and made available for any patient who needs donated cells due to a disease in their own cells such as leukemia or a genetic disorder. A transplant replaces a patient’s unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy ones. To date, 19 lives (and counting) have been saved thanks to the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program. […]

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