New mums in Nottingham will have the opportunity to donate their umbilical cord blood to someone in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.
Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has opened two new cord blood collection centres at Nottingham's Queens Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, thanks to funding from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.
The blood from a new mum’s umbilical cord could provide the lifesaving stem cells that could cure someone of blood cancer, such as leukaemia.
Penny Cole, Midwife Supervisor for Anthony Nolan cord blood collection programme in Nottingham said it's an easy way to potentially save a life.
– Penny Cole, Midwife Supervisor for Anthony Nolan cord blood collection programme
"Normally the cord blood is something that's thrown away after birth and isn't used at all.
So this is a huge opportunity for women to give life twice in one day - to give birth to their baby and then potentially make a life-saving donation of stem cells from their cord blood to save the life of another person "
Sarah Hancox, 27, who is expecting her first baby in April has signed up to donate her baby's umbilical cord when she gives birth.
She works as senior nurse, looking after patients with blood cancers. She said it's why she wanted to get involved.
– Sarah Hancox
I know and understand how important stem cells are to our patients because they need them to survive, often.
Donating your umbilical cord is such an easy way to do that. I'd really encourage people to do it.
The two new centres add to existing ones in Leicester and Birmingham.
Nottingham is already home to Anthony Nolan’s cell therapy centre where cord units are banked.