Success Stories: Mitch Santana

When he was just nine months old, Mitch was diagnosed with infantile acute lymphocytic leukemia. His doctors patiently waited for a matching bone marrow donor, and searched through several different stem cell databases around the world. However, they couldn’t find a match, and Mitch continued through intensive treatment.

After several rounds of chemotherapy, doctors told Mitch’s family he would most likely relapse again, and require more intensive treatments. His family was presented with two options – harvest Mitch’s own stem cells, or use cord blood cells from an unrelated donor.

Mitch received a transplant at Duke University in September 1993. The cord blood was donated through the National Cord Blood Program, by a “mismatched” donor. The transplant was a success, and Mitch was pronounced as cured by his doctors.

Today, Mitch lives a happy and healthy life, and his family says he now has two birthdays – the day he was born, and the day he received a second chance at life through his cord blood transplant.

Read more about the benefits of cord blood here.

National Cord Blood Program