Murrieta boy to receive rare cord blood transplant
Ricky Martinez, a 9-year-old Murrieta boy with a rare anemia, has undergone a procedure to transplant his own cord blood.
Last August, Ricky was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a condition in which the bone marrow ceases to produce blood cells.
Ricky had been receiving weekly blood transfusions to treat the condition, but doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant to help restore his immune system. Instead, they found Ricky’s own blood from his umbilical cord, banked at birth and stored in a medical facility.
Cord blood contains stem cells —- undifferentiated cells that can spur production of healthy tissue to help treat various diseases. Doctors believed it could jump-start Ricky’s bone marrow, allowing his body to resume normal blood production.