Girl Cured of Sickle-Cell Anemia Using Brother's Umbilical Cord

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By Setrige Crawford, Christian Post Reporter
February 16, 2012|3:32 pm

A young California girl suffering from sickle-cell anemia has been cured of the painful condition by her baby brother's umbilical cord.

Carol Mulumba was diagnosed with a severe type of sickle-cell anemia just days after she was born. Doctors told her mother, Lucky Mulumba, she would live a painful life and would not make it past age 10, according Thegrio.com.

"Doctors said she had the most severe type and they told me she would have a hard life," Mulumba said. "Some doctors told me she would not live past 10 years."

However, Lucky Mulumba learned from doctors that blood from her second child's umbilical cord could be stored and one day used to treat Carol's condition. The blood from her son, Mark, was stored at Cord Blood Registry through a free program called "Newborn Possibilities."

The blood from Mark's umbilical cord ended up saving Carol's life as her condition continued to worsen. At the age of six, Carol began having strokes and doctors feared she would eventually die from one.

Making matters worse, her daily pain soon became so bad, she couldn't attend school. Lucky Mulumba told MSNBC that her daughter was always in pain and constantly being treated with morphine.

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"The pain in my head was like a punch, the pain in my stomach was like a kick, the pain in my heart was like a squeeze," Carol said.

Doctors then performed a stem cell transplant on Carol when she was 7. They used cells from her brother's stored umbilical cord blood to replace the sickle-celled blood system in Carol, according to MSNBC. The procedure was a success and cured her of sickle-cell.

Dr. Kate Brown, a content scientist with Cord Blood Registry, said that similar umbilical cord treatments are used to treat 80 different diseases, according to Thegrio.com.

"...Including some blood cancers, immune disorders and anemia's," Brown said.

She added that the Cord Blood Registry has stored 400,000 samples worldwide from umbilical cords.

Thanks to her brother's umbilical cord, Carol has been living without the painful condition for three years and now can enjoy playing outside and the taste of food.

Carol was even invited to Washington D.C. to talk with President Obama about her treatment, while her mother says the procedure was more than a miracle.

Carol is simply happy that she is pain-free and won't have to spend so much time at the doctor's office.

"Now I feel great. I have no pain and I don't have to visit the doctor all the time," Carol said.

 

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