Cord Blood Breakthroughs

DURHAM, N.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It's already helping cancer patients and those suffering from blood disorders. Now, doctors are using umbilical cord blood to tackle a whole new set of incurable conditions. From brain damage to diabetes, cord blood is giving kids a better life.

Ellen snaps a quick picture of a bag of cells … cells she hopes will change her son's future.

"It was just kind of miraculous," Ellen told Ivanhoe "You just watched these stem cells dripping into him."

A stroke at birth caused 6-year-old Max's cerebral palsy. He's one of about 150 kids getting infusions of his own cord blood at Duke University. The hope -- the stem cells in Max's cord blood will improve his brain function.

"Cells go to the brain after we infuse them in the blood, and they can help repair damage in the brain, and we're hoping in children with cerebral palsy that will happen as well," Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D., director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., told Ivanhoe.

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