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Charity Profile: Borne
The family cord blood bank Smart Cells is proud to have been a founding donor to Borne, a collaboration launched in 2014 with support from Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity and the maternity team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, located located in London, UK. In 2016, Borne became an independent charity.
Borne's goal is to make childbirth safer and promote lifelong health for mothers and babies. Borne was set up in response to a need for greater research into the risks of premature birth. In the UK, more than 1 in 10 babies are born too soon. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born prematurely every year, and this is responsible for 70% of disability and death in newborn babies.
Borne aims to change this:
- Through research into treatment combinations that could prevent premature birth.
- Through training that develops the expertise and skills of doctors and midwives across London & the UK.
- Through a global legacy created by supporting health workers in Asia and Africa.
One of Borne's obstetric research objectives is the protection of the unborn child from cerebral palsy, which occurs in up to 0.5% of babies and is the leading cause of motor deficiency in young children.
Pioneering clinical trials are treating children that have cerebral palsy with stem cells from cord blood. Borne's founding donor Smart Cells is a family cord blood bank that by 2014 had sent two children from their client families to be treated for cerebral palsy with their own cord blood stored at the bank. Collection at birth of the stem cells in umbilical cord blood and tissue is an opportunity to safeguard against future illnesses with the infusion of healthy stem cells that can help the body to repair itself.
Professor Mark Johnson, Consultant in Obstetrics at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Co-Founder of Borne, had this to say: "I have had the privilege of looking after thousands of mothers and delivering happy, healthy babies. I am acutely aware that the safe arrival of every child is a miracle. Worldwide, every year 15 million babies are born too soon. Of these babies, one million will die and those that survive have a high risk of developing a lifelong disability. Being born too soon is the most important cause of death and disability in newborn babies."
"As an obstetrician, my aim is to make pregnancy as safe as possible for mothers and babies, but as an individual, I can only help one mother at a time. Working as part of Borne, I can help give hundreds of thousands of babies a better chance in life."
"Our first goal it to prevent preterm delivery and we are currently trialing a treatment which will prolong pregnancy, keeping the baby in the safest place and avoiding the life threatening complications of preterm birth."
"Our second goal is to ensure lifelong health for babies. We are coming to realise that much of our health is determined in the womb in the first few months of existence. We aim to define interventions during pregnancy that will give children the best possible start in life, minimising the adverse effects of prematurity, growth restriction, and maternal diabetes for example. Our interventions will reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions, making a real difference to the health of future generations."