We believe cord blood is the best stem cell source for all people and the only viably safe source for people of mixed heritage, minorities and other difficult to match people.

Become My Hero supports the Natasha's Place Mixed Heritage and Minority Cord Blood Project with three veins of research. The first is developing non invasive tools to determine the HLA haplotype of a yet-to-be born baby. This will allow us to find a specific cord blood donor for a specific person without waiting for the baby to be born. The person in imminent need of a transplant would then be able to relax because he or she would have one or more donors in hand and, from the delivery date, know approximately when the donation would be available. The cord blood would then be collected after the baby's birth and stored until the patient is ready for his or her transplant. The HLA haplotype is the DNA that determines if the potential donor will match the person in need of a transplant.

We are currently developing maps to chart the HLA haplotypes of different races and ethnic groups to determine what combination of race and ethnicity will likely provide the best donor for a specific mixed heritage person. This same map is, of course, applicable to a person of any race and ethnicity. This research is used to examine a client's HLA haplotype and develop strategies to find pregnant women who are more likely to be having babies with a matching haplotype. Click here for a paper on such research.

Finally, we are very interested in developing policies and recruitment strategies that better compel underrepresented races, ethnicities and cultures to readily donate cord blood and bone marrow. Click here for a paper on such research.

(P) 203.200.0771 / (F) 206.337.0466 / (E) [email protected]