The importance of the umbilical cord: the story of Shai Skip to content

The importance of the umbilical cord: the story of Shai

«I wanted to give my children every possible form of health insurance»

Shai Miranda was born in December 1992, unfortunately with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumor in her pelvis, which was only diagnosed at the age of eleven months, when it had metastasized into her lungs.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most frequent soft-part sarcoma in childhood, although it is considered a rare tumor, with an incidence of 3.5% of all childhood tumors.

After all the efforts of the mother, chemotherapy sessions, removal of the residual tumor and three internal organs, after several weeks of radiotherapy, the little girl seemed to be in remission and respond positively to all treatments.

Unfortunately, a few years later, Shai was diagnosed with “secondary” leukemia, i.e. caused by the anti-tumor treatments she had previously undergone. The little girl now needed a stem cell transplant.

At that time, in 1996, stem cell transplants derived from the umbilical cord had not yet become common practice, so Shai’s mother focused on finding a compatible bone marrow donor. Many months later, a compatible donor was found and the child underwent the transplant, which was particularly risky for her little body already proven by chemo and radiotherapy.

Ten days after the transplant, the girl’s liver stopped functioning and Shai developed heart disease. Leukemia recurred and the girl stopped fighting a short time later, surrounded by her family.

Shai’s mother had two more daughters after this tragedy, and for both of them she decided to preserve the stem cells of the umbilical cord, mindful of the difficulties encountered in finding a compatible donor, and aware that the best compatibility comes from a family member.

«I wanted to give my children every possible form of health insurance. Now it has become my mission to be a consumer advocate for parents who want to bank cord blood and access cord blood therapies».

Your child’s umbilical cord is an invaluable source of stem cells: don’t give up this possibility, find out how to bank it with Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.