Every year, on a day in October, organizations and individuals around the world come together to ensure that we realize the benefits of one of the most promising fields of science in our time. Stem Cell Awareness Day #StemCellDay – this year on October 8 – is a unique global opportunity to foster greater understanding about stem cell research and the range of potential applications for disease and injury.
For the millions of people around the world who suffer from incurable diseases and injury, Stem Cell Awareness Day celebrates the scientific advances made so far and be hopeful for what is yet to come. To spread the word about all the opportunities stem cell research provides, scientists, doctors and educators host public lectures, laboratory tours and other events in their communities. High school students learn about the career pathways available in the field of stem cell science.
Among the diseases currently being treated with stem cells: various forms of leukemia, immune deficiencies, metabolic disorders, and blood disorders such as sickle-cell anemia. Stem cell treatment is showing promise in more than 80 illnesses and conditions. ..and the list is growing.
While medical research realizes the benefits of all stem cells, scientists acknowledge that umbilical cord blood stem cells generally are the best option for treatments. That’s because they are more flexible compared to adult stem cells from other sources like bone marrow. The flexibility enables them to more easily adapt to a patient’s body during transplant. As a result, the chances for a successful outcome are higher, and the risks of complications are lower.
We already know that cord blood is easy to collect. It’s fast and painless for mother and baby. We also know that cord blood can be stored until it is needed later. But there’s still so much to investigate and learn, which is why worldwide observances like Stem Cell Awareness Day are critical to keeping research efforts, progress and education in the spotlight. #stemcellday