May 17, 2018 by Erin3

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from a newborn’s umbilical cord blood are currently FDA approved to treat over 80 diseases.   While that’s a compelling reason to bank cord blood, we feel it’s important to understand what’s behind this number so you can make an informed decision about cord blood banking for your growing family.

FDA Approved Used of Cord Blood

In general, the FDA approved uses of umbilical cord blood stems cells include treatment for 3 common types of childhood cancers, 4 types of bone marrow cancer, 13 types of leukemia (including childhood leukemia); Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; 33 other disorders of blood cell proliferation; and 17 inherited metabolic disorders (see the full list of FDA approved diseases at the end of this article).

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood can play an important part of the recovery process for these diseases.  They help replenish the blood cells and rebuild a depleted immune system following aggressive treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

What do Cord Blood Stem Cells Do?

Quickly rebuilding the billions of blood cells responsible for maintaining and protecting every cell in the body is critical in the recovery process to reduce the chance of infection and help the body recover.  Stem cells from umbilical cord blood (HSCs) are more effective than other cells at regenerating the immune system following chemotherapy.  As a result, doctors can give a higher dose of chemotherapy to improve the chances of eradicating the cancer.

Cord Blood and Childhood Cancer

Together, the words childhood and cancer are not something any parent wants to hear.  According to CureSearch, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children.  The average age of children diagnosed with cancer is six.   More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year, with over 90 percent survival rate.   Stem cells transplants can be an important part of these treatments.

Among childhood cancers, your child’s own cord blood has been approved for the replenishment of bone marrow and recovery of the immune system following chemotherapy for some of the most common forms of childhood cancer, including eye cancer, brain tumors, and neuroblastomas.

Retinoblastoma is the most common type of eye cancer in children.  It starts during pregnancy, when the retina is developing.  Retinoblastoma is more common in infants and very young children (under six years old).

Neuroblastoma accounts for about 6% of all cancers in children and is by far the most common cancer in infants less than 1 year old.  It is a malignant tumor that starts during pregnancy, when immature nerve cells are developing, and typically affects the adrenal glands. It is often present at birth, but may not be detected until later in childhood.  Often, by the time it’s diagnosed, neuroblastoma has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Brain Tumors:  Brain tumors are masses of abnormal cells in the brain or spinal cord that have grown out of control.  About 18% to 20% of all malignant childhood brain tumors are medulloblastoma. About 70% of these occur in children younger than 10.

Banking your child’s cord blood will ensure it is available for immediate use as part of the intervention and recovery process should there ever be a need to treat these childhood cancers or any of the other 80 diseases.

Source: Parent’s Guide tO Cord Blood Foundation



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Our purpose is to provide the expectant mothers with information necessary to discover the lifesaving potential of umbilical cord blood.

Copyright Cord for Life 2019. All rights reserved.

Deborah A. Sardone

Ms. Sardone has over 30 years of clinical laboratory experience as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Supervisor, including over 25 years with Central Florida Regional Hospital (CFRH). She was Supervisor of Quality Assurance, Safety and Education at CFRH for 11 years, held the positions of Blood Bank Supervisor for 11 years, and Hematology Supervisor for 1 year. She has participated in both sides of the inspection process, serving on the College of American Pathologists Inspection team for CAP Hospital Accreditation in Florida, and assisting in receiving accreditation by The Joint Commission (TJC), American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the inspections of the clinical laboratory. Ms. Sardone is licensed by the State of Florida as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist in Immunohematology, Hematology, Serology and Clinical Chemistry. She is a certified Clinical Laboratory Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). Ms. Sardone serves as Manager of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Cord For Life, Inc. overseeing all licensing and regulatory agencies to ensure that the highest quality in all aspects of cord blood collection, processing, and storage is maintained.  Ms. Sardone has been with Cord For Life for over 5 years of dedicated service. Her skills and knowledge in blood banking and quality assurance have enabled her to establish, implement and maintain a superior quality system that meets and exceeds all standards and regulatory requirements for Cord For Life, Inc.

Personal Background:

  • Sardone is a graduate of The City University of New York in Medical Laboratory Technology.
  • Sardone is licensed in Florida as a Clinical Medical Technologist and she is nationally recognized as ASCP Certified.
  • Sardone enjoys photography and dancing.

Kelli Cable

Ms. Cable has 35+ years – experience in Office, Management, Human Resources, & Customer Service. As the Director of Administration and Client Services, Ms. Cable joined Cord for Life in December 2006, and has assisted in providing more efficient and effective ways to ease the enrollment process, as well as obtaining and establishing excellent customer care during the enrollment and donation period; for our Storage and Donation customers.

Personal Background:

  • Mrs. Cable is married and has two boys.
  • In 1994, Ms. Cable moved to Orlando from Boulder, Colorado.
  • Has a passion for travel and enjoys watching NFL games, cheering on her favorite team, the Denver Broncos.

Donald Hudspeth

Mr. Hudspeth has over 28 years of clinical laboratory experience as a certified Medical Technologist (ASCP), including ten years with the University of North Carolina Hospitals and 18 years with Cord for Life. Mr. Hudspeth is licensed by the State of Florida as a Clinical Laboratory Supervisor in Immunohematology, Hematology, Serology, Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Pathology and Microbiology as well as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and has completed the AABB Certification in Cellular Therapies through George Washington University.

Mr. Hudspeth is a registered Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and a member of the Cord Blood Association. He has also enjoyed teaching Immunology to Clinical Laboratory Science and medical school students at UNC while working in the UNCH clinical labs.  Mr. Hudspeth is an Eagle Scout with 5 palms and has served numerous volunteer positions within the local Scouts BSA Troop and Pack.

Personal Background:

  • Mr. Hudspeth received his Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • “Eagle Scout with Five Palms”
  • Avid golfer with a 14 handicap.

Sara Irrgang, M.D

During the last two years of Medical School, Dr. Irrgang was in the United States Navy 1915 Ensign Program and completed a clerkship at the Naval Hospital at Charleston, South Carolina as well as a research clerkship at the Naval Aerospace Institute at Pensacola, Florida. Dr. Irrgang completed her four year Pathology residency at Baylor University Medical Center, and her internship at the University District Hospital, Rio Piedras in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Currently, Dr. Irrgang is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and licensed in the states of South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey and Florida and she is an Associate Medical Examiner at the District Nine Medical Examiners Office. Dr. Irrgang is a fellow at numerous organizations including; The College of American Pathologists, National Association of Medical Examiners, Florida Association of Medical Examiners, Seminole County Medical Society, and the Florida Medical Society.

Personal Background:

  • Dr. Irrgang received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of South Carolina.
  • Attended the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston where she earned a Medical Doctorate Degree.
  • Dr. Irrgang has a passion for breeding show horses
  • Dr. Irrgang is a 4-H leader in Lake County, Florida
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