One scientific fact caught the attention of Low Tze Hui and Poh Liang Siah, when they were researching their cord blood banking options during their first pregnancy in 2006 – cord blood from a baby is not guaranteed to be a match for a family member1.
No guaranteed cord blood match between siblings
“The fact there is no guarantee that my child’s cord blood can be used by his siblings and that most patients found a match from a public bank, made us realise there was no justifiable reason to keep it for ourselves,” Tze Hui said. The couple then decided to donate it to Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB).
Cord blood, a rich source of blood stem cells, donated by expectant mothers to a public bank such as SCBB can be made available for patients to treat their blood-related diseases such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
Higher chance of finding a match with more cord blood donations
“We also found out that with an increase in the number of parents who donate cord blood, the greater the possibility of finding a match for those in need. We wanted to contribute to this effort.”
“It is similar to how insurance works. When we buy insurance, the money gets pooled together. When someone needs it, the money can be put to good use,” Tze Hui explained.
Cord blood banking makes cord blood more useful
Since their first childbirth, the couple continued to donate cord blood during the deliveries of their other children in 2008, 2011 and 2014 respectively. To them, it is an act of helping someone in need through giving.
“For us, donating cord blood is like donating blood. I see it as an altruistic act and it feels good that our cord blood can help somebody in need,” Tze Hui revealed.
Tze Hui shared, “It is a sensible and rational thing to do. There is no cost and yet it has the potential to save somebody. Why waste the cord blood? If everybody understands the logic behind public cord blood banking, I am sure that they will be happy to donate.”