FRIENDS of a mother who is desperately searching for a stem cell donor have issued an appeal to expectant mothers to donate their umbilical cord blood.
Ruby Cruz, of Boundary Road, Walthamstow, was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer last year.
The 37-year-old mother-of-two is undergoing chemotherapy but her best chance of survival is by finding a stem cell donor.
Mrs Cruz, who works as a social worker at Enfield Council, and her husband Sam Seddon, 43, started the Register for Ruby campaign. With the help of volunteers they organised events which saw hundreds of people register as donors.
Now the Register for Ruby campaign is calling on expectant mothers to donate the blood from their umbilical cords which could potentially save someone’s life.
The stem cells in the cord can be used to treat conditions like blood cancer. The procedure is available in only six hospitals in the UK.
Elspeth Fuller, who is a friend of Mrs Cruz, said she is disappointed she wasn’t told about the opportunity when she gave birth to her daughter in 2014.
Mrs Fuller said: “Given what Ruby is going throughout now it hurts to know that we missed such an easy chance to potentially save a life”.
The Anthony Nolan foundation estimates that 80 per cent of transplant requests could be met if the UK saved cord blood from 50,000 births each year. It is estimated that 65,000 litres of cord blood are thrown away each year.
This week singer Rochelle Humes made headlines after posting a photo of her daughter’s umbilical cord made into art as well as pills made from her placenta.
Mrs Cruz was born in El Salvador and fled with her family to Australia during the civil war in the ‘80s. Because she is from an ethnic minority her chances of finding a donor match are slim.
While 60 per cent of patients looking for a match find it, only 20 per cent of people from ethnic minority backgrounds are successful with their search.
To learn more about the Register for Ruby campaign click here.
To register as a donor click here.