Siblings Day isn’t really recognised in the UK, even though our relationships with our brothers and sisters are likely to be the most enduring of our lives. We all owe our lives to our parents, but thanks to cord blood storage, many healthy children and adults now also owe their lives to their siblings. This year, Biovault Family want to shine a light on some of those special brothers and sisters who mean the world to one another.
Ahmad’s doctors had used a number of techniques to treat his thalassemia without success when they decided to change their approach and use Stem Cell Therapy (SCT). Fortunately, when Ahmad’s little sister Fatima was born, their parents had decided to store her stem cell-rich umbilical cord blood. Within two months of the transplantation, Ahmad’s general health had improved and his tests showed normal perfect blood indices. SCT is the only known cure for inherited blood disorders; Fatima’s cord blood had helped eradicate her big brother’s illness.
In August 2017 Georgina Russell stored her baby’s cord blood stem cells with Biovault Family in the hope that they could be used to treat her brother, Ashley, who had been diagnosed a few months earlier with the rare brain tumour, glioblastoma. When Georgina realised that the stem cells in her unborn child’s umbilical cord could also be her brother’s lifeline she seized the unique opportunity to save his life. Following a gruelling craniotomy in January, Ashley has just successfully completed his radiation treatment. We wish him and the whole Russell family all the best.
When 5-year-old Logan pressed a button to begin the transfer of his stem cells to his sister, Gianna, she told him: “This is a gift from your body.” Gianna had been diagnosed with leukaemia when she was just 4 months old and had been treated and gone into remission. Two years later, the blood cancer was back. Her doctors recommended using chemotherapy followed by SCT.
Gianna’s doctor, Steven Margossian, MD, PhD said, “The transplant went phenomenally well. With a related donor, you have less likelihood of developing graft versus host disease. The new immune system is more in sync with her body. We assume she’s cured, and we’re monitoring her for late effects of her treatment.”
Since the first successful cord blood stem cell transplant on a sibling in 1988, over 35,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide. By banking your newborn’s cord blood, you could be storing a treatment not just for them, but for their siblings.