Directed Donation Program for Immediate Use

Cells for Life was the first Canadian cord blood bank to establish a medical need program in 2002.  The program provides funding to expectant parents with a family member who is currently suffering from a disease that can be treated with cord blood stem cells in the near future.

Research demonstrates that genetically-related cord blood stem cells in transplants increases the chance of success as compared to transplants from an unrelated donor.

    • One-year survival rate is more than twice as high if patient receives a cord blood stem cell transplant from a relative (63%) vs an unrelated donor (29%). (Gluckman et al, 1997)
    • Genetically-related cord blood stem cells in transplants are preferable to transplants from an unrelated donor; leading to increased survival rate and reduced GVHD. (Willert et al, 2007)

Criteria for Acceptance to the Program

The following criteria must be met to qualify for the program – each request is reviewed by our medical panel on an individual basis:

  1. The disease is considered to be currently treatable by Allogeneic (from another person) stem cell transplantation
  2. The parents are expecting the birth of a full sibling
  3. The attending transplant physician supports the use of cord blood (a letter is required)
  4. The sick individual will use the cord blood sample within a reasonable period of time

Financial Support

Cells for Life will cover the cost of the following:

  • Collection kit
  • Registration
  • Processing
  • First year of storage

Parents will be expected to cover shipping fees and any required medical testing fees. If the sample is not used within the first year, the family will pay the required annual storage fees.