The Lions Cord Blood Foundation Inc. was initiated in 1996 by Lion Laurie Denton (deceased) a former member of the Lions Club of Waverley Inc. Managed by the Lions Club of Waverley Inc.V5. A District Project of 201V5 and since the Multiple District Convention in Queensland in 2006 the Foundation continues as a Category B Project until June 2020.
The cost of retrieval, testing and storage of a single successful cord has risen to $4,000. in May 2017. Over the past 21 years, the Foundation has raised in excess of $2.1M for the Fight Cancer Foundation (formerly - Bone Marrow Donor Institute) for distribution to the Cord Blood Banks and shall continue to support them through 2018 and beyond with your Club’s ongoing support.
Some of these funds have been allocated to Improving the quality of samples which extends to the great expansion in the application of stem cells derived from cord blood samples to treat other diseases, for people of all ages, such as those affecting the heart, liver, nerve, muscle, lung and pancreas.
$120,000 per annum has been allocated to this and other research over the past few years.
The Cord Blood Bank saw the need to increase the quantity of cord blood samples by paying additional cord collection nurses dedicated to preparing quality cord blood samples as soon as possible after the birth of the babies. Increase in the number of samples will improve the genetic matching of recipients to donors of the samples and thus improve the success rate of overcoming diseases. $75,000 was donated by Lions for cord collection nurses in 2016-17.
To improve the methods of identifying samples with the highest white cell counts and suitability for transplantation the Foundation has partially funded an up to date database system which greatly increases access to suitable cord blood samples. This will include both Melbourne and Sydney Cord Blood Bank samples leading the way to a future national database system. Up to $100,000 was allocated for this purpose.
In the past the project funded equipment such as cryogenic tanks, cryo shippers, centrifuges, etc., when requested by the Cord Blood Bank. Our focus has since shifted to research including funding the establishment of iPSC Haplobanks. With Cord blood samples being a rich source of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) these can induced as part of an involved recent chemical process to produce master cells which can basically turn into any cell, tissue or organ of the human body (like eye retina, skin tissue, kidney and even heart or brain). They also have the power to infinitely self-renew. The Cord Blood of Melbourne is currently researching the future formation of a such a bank where small samples of each cord blood unit will be stored for future use in manufacturing cells, tissues and organs for transplants.
This project presents a wonderful opportunity for Lions to support future advancements in stem cell technology and reducing the impact of diseases like leukaemia and others on mankind.
Trust fund Number DGR.900495462
ABN 91 048 667 604