#BroadcastGood: 7-year-old girl's cord blood saves another child's life

Cleveland Cord Blood Center reflects on 10 years of life-saving procedures
Published: Jun. 12, 2018 at 2:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2018 at 4:25 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A 7-year old Medina girl gave someone the gift of life, just by being born.

"I don't even know how to describe it," said Jordyn Fuller.

Fuller found out recently that her cord blood saved another child's life. Her mother says when she decided to donate the cord blood after giving birth, she had no idea this would actually happen.

"I think it's amazing. It's a blessing and I'm thrilled for whoever's parents that it was a 100 percent match," said Tonya Beach-Fuller.

Advocates are hoping more will match to save lives. Cleveland Cord Blood Center is one of just 20 public cord blood banks in the country. The not-for-profit collects, processes, stores and distributes umbilical cord blood units to patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and immune system disorders.

"Over the 10 years of our existence, we've collected over 46,000 cord blood units and we've transplanted them into 500 patients that live in 17 different countries all over the world," said Executive Director Marcie Finney, Cleveland Cord Blood Center.

But many people don't even know these centers exist or that cord blood donation is an option.

UC Davis Health research shows that 90 percent of potentially lifesaving cord blood currently goes to waste.

"It's literally medical trash and I'd just like to say that I'm a good example of recycling," said Diana Tirpak.

Diana Tirpak is a cancer survivor of 10 years. A cord blood transplant saved her life after she suffered from acute leukemia. She shares that it's an incredible gift for someone and that more people need to know about it.

"I'm grateful for every day that I've been given," said Tirpak.

And little Jordyn says she hopes one day she'll find out who she saved.

"I really want to meet that little, whoever it is," she said.

Quick Facts:

  • The match process is anonymous.
  • It is free and at no cost to the donor.
  • Cord blood centers need more donors, especially ethnic donors, since it is a process based off genetics.

Click here to find out how you can donate a cord blood.

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