Cleveland man, cancer survivor raising awareness about benefits of umbilical cord blood

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CLEVELAND - A Cleveland man who suffered from leukemia is alive today and it's all thanks to an umbilical cord blood transfusion more than a decade ago.

Now the cancer survivor is trying to raise awareness on the importance of umbilical cord blood.

"I was actually diagnosed with 'AML'  which is leukemia and I was actually saved by an umbilical cord transplant,” said Nathan Mumford, 35.

At the age of 24 he was he was diagnosed. To fight the cancer, Mumford was given a bone marrow transplant, but the procedure was not a match.  Mumford then received an umbilical cord blood transplant which was experimental back then.

Nathan has been cancer free for more than ten years and he's hoping his story will inspire expecting mothers to donate their cord blood.

"A lot of people do not know about umbilical cord transplants, so they don't have the opportunity to be saved like I did.” said Mumford.

Phil Paul is the director of the Cleveland Cord Blood Center, their slogan is “Save a Cord, Save a Life.”

Mumford says finding a transplant match is difficult and even harder for African-Americans and Latinos because they donate less frequently.

"It saved his life. He had pretty much a 100% chance of dying of the leukemia and he is very fortunate,” said Phil Paul.