Cord blood donations are particularly important for ethnic minorities due to a number of factors. For example, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians each make up a smaller portion of the U.S. population — meaning less donors are available — and they can also have a greater degree of genetic variation. Because a partial match is acceptable with cord blood, it allows more minority patients to find a suitable unit for treatment. In addition, African-Americans are more likely than others to suffer from sickle cell disease which can now benefit from cord blood transplants.
Due to our ethnic diversity, California is an ideal place to focus on enhancing cord blood collection. A more varied pool increases the likelihood that members of minority groups and mixed heritage can find a match and have access to life-saving treatments.
In general, minorities are more likely to find a suitable match from donors within their own ethnic groups.