Cord Blood in Action – Baby Harlow’s Story

HarlowParental instinct is a powerful thing. Parents have an eye for ear infections and know the something-is-just-not-right signs of an impending cold or flu. For Jamie and her husband, Ben, they knew something was wrong when their daughter, Harlow, started crying more than usual just 2 weeks after she was born. Doctors said it was likely colic and suggested new formulas and different sleeping strategies, but Harlow wasn’t getting better. At 3 months old, her stomach swelled, and she stopped having wet diapers.

Putting a name to the problem

 After a trip to the emergency room and several tests, Jamie and Ben got some startling news: a grapefruit-sized, cancerous tumor was blocking Harlow’s kidney. To make matters worse, pathologists couldn’t identify just what type of cancer it was. Finally, a team of pediatric oncologists operating out of Chicago concluded that Harlow’s cancer most resembled a rare type of brain cancer, and should be treated as such.

Unsure of a prognosis for Harlow, doctors did determine chemotherapy was the best protocol for treatment. Although Jaime and Ben feared watching their daughter suffer the painful side effects, seeing her smile was enough to make them know they were not going to give up. Then they asked an important question: could the cord blood stem cells they banked with ViaCord help?

The life-saving potential of Harlow’s cord blood

 Jamie and Ben’s decision to bank Harlow’s cord blood provided them with an additional medical resource for Harlow when it came time to treat her for her tumor. And because the stem cells were a perfect match for Harlow, because they were her own, she could forego anti-rejection treatments that may have come with an unrelated match.

Quickly, Harlow underwent three rounds of chemotherapy, designed to shrink the tumor so it could be surgically removed. When the surgery was performed, doctors discovered the tumor was gone! And thanks to Harlow’s stored cord blood, doctors were actually able to perform two stem cell transplants—one using her cord blood and one using the stem cells in her blood—to help prevent the tumor from growing back.

After spending two months in isolation to help protect her from germs that could cause an infection, Harlow was finally able to go home and 7 months later she joined other little girls and boys her age in daycare.

Encouraging parents to understand the value of cord blood

Jamie and Ben saw firsthand the power of cord blood stem cells, and they were thankful they made the decision to bank. Now they’re spreading the word to other parents and encouraging them to consider cord blood banking. Cord blood stem cells gave Harlow the opportunity to live a happy, full life. And now, she’s a fun-loving, healthy, 3 year old little girl, who loves dancing, singing, gymnastics and watching her favorite movie, 101 Dalmatians!

Watch Harlow’s Story on FOX News – Foxs & Friends Program

2 Comments on “Cord Blood in Action – Baby Harlow’s Story

  1. I was wondering if there was any history of cancer in Harlow’s family. What was it that influenced Harlow’s family to bank her blood. I am considering cord blood banking but am on the fence.

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