Chris Lihosit was battling leukemia back in 2015, and despite ongoing treatment, he was not recovering. Doctors then told him he needed a bone marrow transplant, so he turned toward the donor registry.
“It hadn’t even come to my mind that I wouldn’t even find a match, because there is tens of millions of people in the registry and in the world,” Lihost said. But the numbers were not on his side.
Out of the entire list, he only had one single match, and it was a person living in a remote area of Eastern Europe. When the finally got in touch to ask for a donation, they told Lihost “no.”
Lihost then turned to clinical trials, where he met Dr. Filippo Milano and told him he should use umbilical cord blood.
“I don’t know how much you know about cord blood … but you’re going to have a good shot here,” Milano told him.
And it turned out to be exactly what they were looking for. “Cord blood was It—capital IT,” Milano said.
Umbilical cords are routinely thrown away after a pregnancy—hospitals estimate about 90 to 95 percent of cords, along with the blood inside, is tossed away.
Yet there’s a very special reason why cord blood can have a miraculous effect.