Cord blood gives 3-year-old with cerebral palsy hope

Three-year-old Jiang Yuecheng was unable to walk or even hold a bottle on his own just a year ago.

But after receiving two cord blood transplants using stem cells extracted from his own cord blood, the toddler is moving around a lot more.

His mother, Mrs Jiang Hongqin, 39, said Yuecheng had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two.

After he was born in 2011, Mrs Jiang stored two bags of umbilical cord blood in a private cord blood bank.

Although treatment of cerebral palsy with cord blood has yet to be clinically proven, Mrs Jiang decided to go ahead with the procedure.

Cord blood transplants can be used to treat patients with blood cancers and other blood, genetic and metabolic disorders.

In Singapore, more people are banking cord blood.

StemCord, one of three private cord blood banks in Singapore, reported a growth of about 3,500 cord blood samples each year, while the Singapore Cord Blood Bank, the island’s only public bank, saw an increase in cord blood donations from 1,380 in 2005, to 3,780 last year.

Mrs Jiang said she is happy with Yuecheng's improvement, "we noticed after the second cord blood transfusion his voice level was louder, and he started to hold his water bottle, which he never did in the past. When he wants to drink water, he would reach for it, hold it, and start to drink his water."