May is most notable for Mother’s Day – a day to celebrate moms everywhere for being nurturers, leaders, role models, and the best hug-givers! This year the month of May will also honor moms, in a powerful way, with the launch of National Preeclampsia Awareness Month.
Designed by the Preeclampsia Foundation, National Preeclampsia Awareness Month is a month-long educational campaign that aims to build awareness around preeclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of moms, and their unborn babies, each year. The Preeclampsia Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, advancing research and improving health care practices. They envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. 1
Although most women with preeclampsia will deliver a healthy baby, some will experience complications. Worldwide, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year. 1 Despite such devastating numbers, too few people are aware and informed about this global health problem.
That’s where you can help!
All across the country this month people are helping raise awareness about premature births. According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 8 babies born in the US each year is born prematurely and 15 million babies worldwide are born too soon.1 Many of these little fighters will grow up healthy and unaffected by their early entrance into the world, however many will not. These babies are at an increased risk of serious medical complications and lasting disabilities including cerebral palsy; chronic lung diseases and vision and hearing problems.1
Although decades of research have been unable to identify an effective way to help prevent premature births, medical providers have made tremendous advances in caring for babies born too small and too soon. Continue reading
It may seem that every month a different group or charity is rallying around a cause, raising awareness for anything from illnesses to social issues to silly things like hamburgers (yep, we bet you didn’t know May is National Hamburger Month!).1 However, it’s rare that two separate advocacy campaigns complement each other as they did this month. September is both Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and though they are separate campaigns, their goal is the same – help raise awareness about a life-threatening disease affecting thousands of people each year.
Whether tiny, tall, young or old, anyone can develop cancer. In both kids and adults, cancer occurs when normal cells begin to grow abnormally, divide at a rapid rate and invade other tissues. In many instances, these quick-growing cells form tumors, which can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are over 100 different types of cancer. 2
ViaCord families help raise awareness about cord blood banking on a daily basis – something we are very grateful for. From Facebook posts about the decision to bank, to simple ‘Did you know about…’ conversations in the grocery store, ViaCord families want others to know about the value of cord blood. We recently caught up with a ViaCord mom, Dawn, who is doing just that through a new endeavor of hers.
In 2007, Dawn welcomed twin boys into the world, and almost exactly two years later she welcomed another set of twins into the world – this time a boy and girl! Along with her husband, Tim, Dawn has spent the last several years raising her little ones while continuing to work part-time and further her education. A Super-Mom? We’d say so!
Dawn chronicled her successes and failures, and made tools along the way that helped her navigate the day to day. Continue reading
Sunday is National Grandparents Day, and before the celebrations begin we’d like to take a moment to say thank you to grandparents everywhere for playing such an important role in family life. As mentors, nurturers, heroes, buddies, providers – today’s generation of grandparents is one-of-a-kind.
Grandparents today are strongly aware of the importance of maintaining good health and planning for it, as well as the significant advancements being made in medicine today.
That’s why it’s no surprise many grandparents are helping make the important decision to bank their grandchild’s newborn stem cells, which could potentially protect that grandchild or his/her siblings. From passing along information about the benefits of cord blood and cord tissue banking, to gifting ViaCord’s service rather than buying something for the baby’s nursery, their involvement in the decision making process is on the rise – and we can’t tell you how great that is to see.
In fact, a life-saving decision made by parents Ben and Jamie Page to bank their daughter’s cord blood was initiated by Jamie’s mother. Jamie’s mother had seen a story about cord blood banking on the television and told Jamie it was something she should look into. According to Jamie, “we did it not thinking we would need it just a few months later.” When their daughter, Harlow, was just four months old doctors discovered a “grapefruit sized mass in her stomach” and “nobody could agree” on what kind of cancer it was. As treatment options were discussed the Pages wondered if the stem cells from her cord blood could be used to treat their daughter’s aggressive cancer. You can watch the Page’s story by clicking here.
Whether it’s banking newborn stem cells or picking out a color for the baby’s room, a grandparent’s involvement in any sort of family decision is a reflection of one thing – love. As a way to show our love, thanks and appreciation for the special people we call grandparents, ViaCord created a board on Pinterest entitled, “We love Grandparents…” – well, because we do! We hope you enjoy it and feel free to leave a comment below about how much you love the grandparent’s in your life!
In celebration of July being Cord Blood Awareness Month, ViaCord is giving away a free cord blood banking service to one expecting family. Recognized by the National Health Information Center (NHIC), July is all about raising awareness and educating parents about the value that cord blood has in stem cell treatments and research.
After birth, a baby’s umbilical cord is clamped and cut before it is generally disposed of as medical waste. For many families, they may have never considered cord blood banking, whether it’s a donation to a public bank or by storing it in a private bank. Cord Blood Awareness Month is meant to help educate parents on this choice and the benefits that cord blood stem cells could provide for their child or a sibling. For example, cord blood stem cells are shown to be a better source of stem cells for use in transplants than bone marrow and can be used to treat nearly 80-life threatening disease.
According to Merriam-Webster the definition of awareness is “having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge.” That’s precisely the goal of this month, July – Cord Blood Awareness month – to help families gain knowledge about the value of cord blood stem cells and realize how saving these precious cells could potentially benefit a family.
You may think learning about cord blood requires a science background or is a time consuming process. It’s quite the contrary, however. When it comes to learning about cord blood, there are really two important things to know: Continue reading
Photo from askmissa.com
ViaCord recently had the honor of teaming up with Trueheart Events and many other fabulous organizations to benefit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. On Saturday, June 2, 2012, over one hundred deserving children and their families from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Children’s Rare Disease Network attended The Wonderland Suite, an Alice & Wonderland themed event where there were many fun activities, giving celebrities, live entertainment and delicious food.
ViaCord hosted the Children’s Accessories Lounge: a place where stars and children were able to work with the ViaCord style team to make beaded bracelets, adorn themselves with feathered hair Continue reading
If you’ve gone through a pregnancy or plan to someday, you know physical changes are a big part of the experience. Some are anticipated; others may have never crossed your mind. Commonly discussed topics around pregnancy-related physical changes include, swollen hands and feet, fatigue, and even how mom’s hair will grow thick and shiny over the next months. The topics that rarely make it to the forefront of conversation, including pelvic floor dysfunction and related bladder and bowel issues, are the ones that many mothers actually ‘really wish they had known about’ beforehand.
Thanks to the public health and awareness campaign, Share MayFlowers, expecting mothers have a place they can turn to as a resource on such topics. Share MayFlowers’ mission is to educate women and spark conversation about health issues – primarily on the under discussed topics of female pelvic and perinatal health – that seem to take a back seat during this unique time in a woman’s life.
Ever wish someone could explain to you in 30 seconds how umbilical cord blood stem cells are collected? Does hearing stories of ViaCord families inspire you to let friends and family know about the option of stem cell preservation? Would it be helpful to hear an OB’s perspective on cord blood banking? Well now you can watch, learn and be inspired all in one place – on ViaCord’s YouTube Channel!
Bringing ViaCord families and information to your home
With over 4 million people connecting and auto-sharing via social networks,1YouTube is a great way to help spread awareness about the importance of cord blood and cord tissue banking, and the work that we do at ViaCord.