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The Kacey Rose Foundation

Mayo 2012
Glen & Kristina Mitchell
photo of Kacey Rose receiving her cord blood transplant, held by her parents

Glen & Kristina Mitchell are the parents of Kacey Rose.

The idea of forming our Foundation came as a result of not knowing what to do with our emotions after we lost our beautiful daughter to a very rare form of Leukemia known as AML-M7. With the help of family and friends it was decided to honor Kacey's life by helping other families that are battling childhood cancer.

During our daughter's 15 month fight, we witnessed many unfortunate consequences of a child being diagnosed with cancer. When Kacey relapsed shortly after completing the standard 5 rounds of chemo normally used to treat her disease, the only option left was for her to undergo a bone marrow transplant. We were relieved to have this treatment option. That feeling quickly went away when we found out that there was not a single match for Kacey in the entire world registry. We were devastated, how could this be?

We hosted a bone marrow drive and got over 500 new people into the registry, but a match still did not exist. Fortunately another option was offered to us - a cord blood transplant. We were vaguely aware of this option, and quickly became educated on the subject. A few months later Kacey underwent the process of heavy chemotherapy and full body radiation treatments meant to destroy the cancer cells in her body. The next step was to infuse her with the stem cells collected from a baby's umbilical cord that was wisely donated to a public cord blood bank 7 years earlier.

The transplant process was extreme but Kacey did come out the other end of it healthier than she had been in the previous year, and was cancer free. Unfortunately, her cancer relapsed and she passed away in our arms at home 7 months later.

Within weeks of her passing, we were compelled to do something to help others going through the same challenges. We quickly decided to provide public education about cord blood donation. We discovered that in the state of Connecticut there were very few resources for healthcare providers and expectant mothers who are interested in cord blood donation. In answer to this, the Kacey Rose Foundation and Lifeforce Cryobanks formed a partnership and have launched "Kacey's Cord Blood Program". We provide expectant mothers with cord blood collection kits that will enable them to mail in donations. Unlike private storage of cord blood, which can be very cost prohibitive, public donation is at no cost the donor and is available for public use.

It was not very long ago in history that the idea of using a donor's blood or organs to save another person's life was a very new and wild idea. Today both are proven and very successful treatment options for a variety of ailments. The success rate of cord blood transplants and number of diseases that can be treated continues to grow, but we need to add more units to the public registry so they are available to treat children and adults around the world. The more cord blood units in the public banks, the more treatment options are available to those in need.

"We are forever grateful to the wise mother who donated her cord blood. This gave Kacey another chance that she would not have otherwise had. If you are an expectant mother less than 34 weeks pregnant, please consider donating your cord blood." ~ Glen and Kristina Mitchell