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Dear Minorities, Please Give Us Your Umbilical Cord Blood. Love, Kaiser

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According to the Kaiser web site, the American Academy of Pediatrics is asking minorities and African-Americans to donate their umbilical cord blood after they give birth.

Blood from umbilical cords has helped 5,500 people with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and immune system disorders. Most procedures involving umbilical cord blood are preformed on children because there usually are not enough cells to treat an adult. However, some doctors have begun treating adults with cord blood from two infants. The national goal is to collect a total of 150,000 units of blood, according to the Sun-Times (Ritter, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/8).

The Sun-Times explains the value of this special blood: "Cord blood is less likely to contain infectious diseases. And in cases where there are not optimal matches, the immune cells from donated cord blood are less likely to attack the patient, said Dr. James Nachman, a University of Chicago pediatric oncologist."photo by Ilpo Sojourn