Avoiding Pain Of Losing A Loved One – A New Hope For Leukemia

Posted on Oct 9 2014 - 8:35pm by tweenselmom

    Death is a reality in life we can never escape. As many of us have always been saying, “Una-una” lang yan (it’s a matter of time). For everyone who have lost a loved one, I think even these thoughts can’t ease the pain. It’s like there’s a hole inside of you which can never be healed once the person passed away. You will always be helpless and wanting, wanting that person will be back again.

    lola This is my Lola adelina, the noblest mother I knew. It was unfortunate for me when we lost her just after I got married. Just when I was realizing how important she is to me. She got cancer then and it took her life slowly, painfully and financially debilitating from what I’ve heard from my aunts and uncles who were paying for her hospitalization back then. What can we do? What can anyone do when the battle is against the big C?

    One good news though is that there’s someone out there who’s offering hope for families through medical breakthroughs. A Press Release below was shared by Cordlife and I am willingly sharing it to inform people that there’s a way to increase chances of survival even if it’s against the dreaded cancer, in this case, leukemia which is cancer of the bone marrow or what we call blood cancer.

    Cord Blood, A New Hope For Leukemia

    Quezon City, October 7, 2014 — A video of a mother from Quebec fighting against leukemia recently went viral in YouTube. Her desperate plea – to find a compatible umbilical cord donor, the only hope for her second battle against leukemia.

    Mai Duong, a 34-year-old Vietnamese-Canadian mother is among the many patients diagnosed of cancer every four minutes. Leukemia – cancer of the body’s tissues that are responsible for forming blood including bone marrow and lymphatic system is among the top eight common cancers in the Philippines.

    In 2005, the Philippine Cancer Society recorded 4,202 new cases, 2,243 of which is among males with 3.9 percent incidence rate while 1,959 cases were recorded among females with an incidence rate of 3.6 percent. With an average 5-year survival rate of only 25 percent, an estimated 3,498 deaths are expected with 1,863 in men and 1,635 among women[i].


    Normally, the body produces and grows the white blood cells in an orderly way. But for people with leukemia, their bone marrow produces white blood cells that are abnormal either in number or function.

    The symptoms of the disease varies from fever or chills, persistent fatigue and weakness, frequent or severe infections, unexpected weight loss, swelling of lymph nodes, bruising or bleeding easily, frequently recurring nosebleeds, visible red spots, bone pain or tenderness and excessive sweating at night[ii].

    Beyond the physical pain that leukemia patients experience, they are also susceptible to emotional stress and anxiety. And when it comes to the trauma and emotional pain, the patient’s family is no exception. Studies showed that anxiety and posttraumatic stress are common to leukemia patients’ families during and even after suffering from the condition. Researchers found that childhood cancer treatment has a long-term impact on parents and families, thus, highlighting the need for psychological interventions during and after the cancer treatment[iii].

    But what gives the patients and their families a sense of hope for recovery is the life-saving effects of stem cell transplantation, including that from umbilical cord blood.

    Like Duong, Ryan Foo is also among the many leukemia victims who conducted a nationwide search for bone marrow stem cells. Foo suffered from leukemia at a very young age and found hope of recovery after his baby sister, Rachel was born. Rachel’s cord blood was collected and was processed and stored in Cordlife’s cord blood banking facility. Ryan has been in remission following the successful transplantation in Singapore in 2002[iv].

    In 2005, cord blood transplantation for a 9-year-old female diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia was performed according to Philippine Journal of Medicinev. The family had to search for one year before finding a cord blood unit in Japan that matches their precious child. The cost of the cord blood unit was about six-folds of how much it would have cost had they banked the child’s cord blood vi.

    Recent researches have proven the life-saving effects of umbilical cord blood stem cells in many life-threatening diseases including leukemia. Comparing cord-blood transplants with current standard leukemia therapies, two new studies indicated that leukemia patients who require stem cell transplants but do not have bone marrow donors now have greater chances to proceed with the treatment through the use of umbilical cord blood cells.

    “Cord blood opens the door to provide transplants to thousands of leukemia patients who otherwise would not get a transplant,” said Mary J. Laughlin, M.D., of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, in an article published by the Journal of National Cancer Institute[v]i.

    Laughlin, lead author of one of the two studies in cord blood technology published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also added that cord blood has two important advantages on bone marrow diseases.

    With cord blood, there is faster identification of appropriate units for transplant. This is important since some conditions require urgent delivery and thus, delays are something medical providers aim to eliminate. Also, with cord blood, patients are more likely to get acceptable transplants because of the higher possibilities in the matching of donors.

    Laughlin also added in the same report that they are suggesting the expansion of national cord blood registries to improve access to cord blood and eventually provide patients with more aschances of getting matches.

    “The more [cord blood samples] we bank the better will be the match and the availability to patients,” Eliane Gluckman, M.D., of the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris, said in the same article.

    Gluckman also confirmed the possibility of cord blood transplantation in adults and noted its growing development in cancer research.

    She said that “many transplant centers thought it was not possible to use cord blood cells in adults. Now, more people will become aware of this possibility.”

    In addition to this, a breakthrough in cancer research was recently seen through a study led by the Loyola Medical Center oncologists. They found that growing cord blood stem cells in a laboratory before proceeding with transplant will significantly improve the survival and boost the number of patients who could benefit from it.[vi]i

    Today, Filipinos can now benefit from these breakthroughs in cancer study by banking their babies’ stem cell-rich cord blood. This unique, highly-advanced service is now available in the country through Cordlife Philippines’ cord blood banking service which helps parents protect their child from the dangers of life-threatening diseases including leukemia.

    “Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most riveting and revolutionary areas of medicine today. While this could be a leap from the traditional treatments available, my fellow doctors and I do recognize cord blood stem cell transplantation as a standard form of treatment for various blood disorders, specially leukemia” Dr. Arvin Faundo, Medical Director of Cordlife Philippines.

    With continuous advancement in cord blood stem cell applications, it’s imperative that parents seize the one chance to save their baby’s cord blood. For more information, download Cordlife’s FREE infopack @ www.cordlife.ph or call them at (02) 332 – 1888.

    15 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

    1. Rackell Villareal October 10, 2014 at 2:38 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing this Mommy Lani. Very informative. 🙂

    2. Michelle Padrelanan October 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing Mommy Lani. My eldest brother died of leukemia when he was only 18 years old. At that time, when he was diagnosed, there was no hope of him recovering from it. I’m glad that now there is hope for those who suffer from leukemia. God bless you!

    3. Maan Laxa October 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      I have actually heard of this even before I have birth; however, cord banking services are just too expensive for most. I hope one day, it will become more accessible.

    4. Quennie Sullano-Gavan October 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      I heard of this even before I gave birth 3 years ago. We would love to but it’s expensive. If there are more affordable options, I’m sure many would consider, including me ofcourse!

    5. Diosyl October 11, 2014 at 4:43 am - Reply

      This article touches me. My tita died of cancer when I was around 13 years old, that time I was really not that curious what this disease is all about. NOW, I am aware and can feel sad for those people who also loose their loved ones.

      • Cordlife Mommy November 5, 2014 at 2:41 am - Reply

        Hi Diosyl,
        Yes. I agree with you. Good thing, we now have cord blood banking that can save our baby’s from deadly diseases such as: leukemia, thalassemia and lymphoma, etc. Continuous medical research are also done world wide to know more the potential uses of umbilical cord blood. Hence I believe that this is the most precious gift I can offer my little one, the gift of protection from deadly diseases. To know more about Cordlife, you may call us at: (02) 332-1888 / 470-1735 or email us at: info@ph.cordlife.com

    6. nicole Paler October 12, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

      The pain of loosing someone is too much. With your post, I remembered my lolo who died 6 days bfore I was gonna get married sa church. Masyado lang masakit kasi super aga. The cord banking idea is really awesome by the way, kaso it’s too expensive to do it here in the philippines…

      • Cordlife Mommy November 5, 2014 at 2:37 am - Reply

        Hi Mommy Nicole,

        Good day. Sorry to hear about your lolo. We at Cordlife Philippines are so delighted that we are reaching more mommies through this platform. Let me share with you that back in 2005, the cord blood units had to be shipped all the way to Singapore which could be a bit costly due to the courier fees. Hence, the decision to build a local state-of-the-art facility(among other considerations). Now, parents can save their baby’s stem cells with Cordlife for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. You may call us at: (02) 332-1888 / 470-1735 or email us at: info@ph.cordlife.com

    7. Janice Lim October 13, 2014 at 1:18 am - Reply

      I know there are a lot of benefits to cord blood banking. It’s just unfortunate we weren’t able to avail of it back when Ziggy was born. It was way too expensive for us then. But I heard they have more affordable plans now.

    8. Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy October 13, 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

      I’ve heard of this also before but was not able to do it when my sons were born. Hope there can be more life saving technologies like this that will be introduced in the future.

    9. Bebengisms | Denise Rayala October 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      I knew about this when I attended an event last year but it’s so mahal! If I just have a lot of money, I will avail of this service… but nothing beats prayers and strong faith in God. 🙂

    10. Kath Rivera October 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      I’ve seen this kind of cord bank advertisement five years ago at Delgado Hospital, I was pregnant with my son that time. I don’t know how much it would costs but I think this is expensive.

      • Cordlife Mommy November 5, 2014 at 2:08 am - Reply

        Hi Mommy Kath!
        Thanks for your comment. We are so delighted that we are reaching more parents through this platform. It has always been our advocacy to raise awareness regarding cord blood banking. Being a mom, I want to give only the best to my precious little one. So without any hesitation I banked my baby’s cord blood through Cordlife. I have never been so happy knowing that I gave my baby the most precious gift I can offer, the gift of protection from deadly diseases. I certainly believe that I made the right investment. Good news Mommy! Since Cordlife Medical Philippines care for us, we can save our baby’s stem cells with Cordlife for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. To know more about Cordlife Medical Philippines, you may call us at: (02) 332-1888 / 4701735 and email us at: info@ph.cordlife.com
        Have a great day ahead!

    11. Nicole October 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      I read a lot about this back when I was pregnant with Ethan, but like the other moms here, we were not able to avail it given the price. If it were more affordable, more people would have access to it sana.

      • Cordlife Mommy November 5, 2014 at 1:58 am - Reply

        Hi Mommy Nicole!

        Good morning. Thanks for your comment. Its has always been our advocacy to raise awareness about the importance of cord blood banking. Let me share with you that when we started back in 2005, the cord blood units had to be shipped all the way to Singapore which could be a bit costly due to the courier fees. Hence, the decision to build a local state-of-the-art facility(among other considerations). Now, parents can save their baby’s stem cells with Cordlife for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. To know more about Cordlife Medical Philippines, you may call us at: (02) 332-1888 / 4701735 and email us at: info@ph.cordlife.com

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