Project strikes a chord

Jan Duffy with Red Cross scientist Gail Lazzaro and Anne Nedkoff.
Jan Duffy with Red Cross scientist Gail Lazzaro and Anne Nedkoff.

Inner Wheel is an international women’s service organisation originally formed by the wives of Manchester Rotarians in 1924. The first Australian Inner Wheel Club formed in 1931 and quickly spread across the country.

Following a Rotary request in 1999 for worthwhile projects, Inner Wheel came up with a recommendation to use cord blood, found in the umbilical cord and placenta after childbirth.

Cord blood contains stem cells, which can be used to treat hematopoietic and genetic disorders.

Ms Lazzaro said the newly formed Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank program will give healthy mothers giving birth to healthy babies the chance to donate cord blood.

‘The Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank, which we hope will open shortly, will be the fourth public cord blood facility in Australia,’ she said.

‘The WA program will help fill the gaps in the national cord blood registry by focusing on the unique ethnic mixes in our community.

‘Donations stored in the new cord blood bank will allow cord blood to be used for any matched patient. It will be a world class facility, capable of storing cord blood for decades.’