Cord Blood: A New Hope For Leukemia

Although still not widely accepted by many, umbilical cord blood stem cells have been proven in recent researches to be effective in saving lives of those with life-threatening diseases. With advances in cord blood stem cell applications, thanks to all the research that has been able to be done new discoveries have been made. This research has been completed over a long period of time, with things like this selection of centrifuge tubes for use and other medical equipment, one can only hope that the discoveries made with this research are actually helpful. However, it has now become imperative to save a baby’s cord blood which may save his life someday. More and more parents are now starting to avail of cord blood and tissue banking from reputable service providers such as Cordlife, the foremost cord blood processing and cryopreservation facility in the Philippines.

Among the life threatening diseases that can be alleviated and even cured by cord blood stem cell transplants is leukemia which is among the top eight common cancers in the Philippines. The article below tells us more about the life-saving applications of umbilical cord blood stem cells to cure Leukemia.


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Cord blood, a new hope for Leukemia

Quezon City, October 13, 2014 — A video of a mother from Quebec fighting against leukemia recently went viral in YouTube. Her desperate plea – to find a compatible umbilical cord donor, the only hope for her second battle against leukemia.

Mai Duong, a 34-year-old Vietnamese-Canadian mother is among the many patients diagnosed of cancer every four minutes. Leukemia – cancer of the body’s tissues that are responsible for forming blood including bone marrow and lymphatic system is among the top eight common cancers in the Philippines.

In 2005, the Philippine Cancer Society recorded 4,202 new cases, 2,243 of which is among males with 3.9 percent incidence rate while 1,959 cases were recorded among females with an incidence rate of 3.6 percent. With an average 5-year survival rate of only 25 percent, an estimated 3,498 deaths are expected with 1,863 in men and 1,635 among women[i].

Normally, the body produces and grows the white blood cells in an orderly way. But for people with leukemia, their bone marrow produces white blood cells that are abnormal either in number or function.

The symptoms of the disease varies from fever or chills, persistent fatigue and weakness, frequent or severe infections, unexpected weight loss, swelling of lymph nodes, bruising or bleeding easily, frequently recurring nosebleeds, visible red spots, bone pain or tenderness and excessive sweating at night[ii].

Beyond the physical pain that leukemia patients experience, they are also susceptible to emotional stress and anxiety. And when it comes to the trauma and emotional pain, the patient’s family is no exception. Studies showed that anxiety and posttraumatic stress are common to leukemia patients’ families during and even after suffering from the condition. Researchers found that childhood cancer treatment has a long-term impact on parents and families, thus, highlighting the need for psychological interventions during and after the cancer treatment[iii].

But what gives the patients and their families a sense of hope for recovery is the life-saving effects of stem cell transplantation, including that from umbilical cord blood.

Like Duong, Ryan Foo is also among the many leukemia victims who conducted a nationwide search for bone marrow stem cells. Foo suffered from leukemia at a very young age and found hope of recovery after his baby sister, Rachel was born. Rachel’s cord blood was collected and was processed and stored in Cordlife’s cord blood banking facility. Ryan has been in remission following the successful transplantation in Singapore in 2002[iv].

In 2005, cord blood transplantation for a 9-year-old female diagnosed with acutemyelogenous leukemia was performed according to Philippine Journal of Medicinev. The family had to search for one year before finding a cord blood unit in Japan that matches their precious child. The cost of the cord blood unit was about six-folds of how much it would have cost had they banked the child’s cord blood[iv]i.

Recent researches have proven the life-saving effects of umbilical cord blood stem cells in many life-threatening diseases including leukemia. Comparing cord-blood transplants with current standard leukemia therapies, two new studies indicated that leukemia patients who require stem cell transplants but do not have bone marrow donors now have greater chances to proceed with the treatment through the use of umbilical cord blood cells.

“Cord blood opens the door to provide transplants to thousands of leukemia patients who otherwise would not get a transplant,” said Mary J. Laughlin, M.D., of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, in an article published by the Journal of National Cancer Institute[v]i.

Laughlin, lead author of one of the two studies in cord blood technology published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also added that cord blood has two important advantages on bone marrow diseases.

With cord blood, there is faster identification of appropriate units for transplant. This is important since some conditions require urgent delivery and thus, delays are something medical providers aim to eliminate. Also, with cord blood, patients are more likely to get acceptable transplants because of the higher possibilities in the matching of donors.

Laughlin also added in the same report that they are suggesting the expansion of national cord blood registries to improve access to cord blood and eventually provide patients with more chances of getting matches.

“The more [cord blood samples] we bank the better will be the match and the availability to patients,” Eliane Gluckman, M.D., of the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris, said in the same article.

Gluckman also confirmed the possibility of cord blood transplantation in adults and noted its growing development in cancer research.

She said that “many transplant centers thought it was not possible to use cord blood cells in adults. Now, more people will become aware of this possibility.”

In addition to this, a breakthrough in cancer research was recently seen through a study led by the Loyola Medical Center oncologists. They found that growing cord blood stem cells in a laboratory before proceeding with transplant will significantly improve the survival and boost the number of patients who could benefit from it.[vi]i

Today, Filipinos can now benefit from these breakthroughs in cancer study by banking their babies’ stem cell-rich cord blood. This unique, highly-advanced service is now available in the country through Cordlife Philippines’ cord blood banking service which helps parents protect their child from the dangers of life-threatening diseases including leukemia.

“Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most riveting and revolutionary areas of medicine today. While this could be a leap from the traditional treatments available, my fellow doctors and I do recognize cord blood stem cell transplantation as a standard form of treatment for various blood disorders, specially leukemia” Dr. Arvin Faundo, Medical Director of Cordlife Philippines.

With continuous advancement in cord blood stem cell applications, it’s imperative that parents seize the one chance to save their baby’s cord blood. For more information, download Cordlife’s FREE infopack @ or call them at (02) 332 – 1888.


[i] 2005 Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates, Philippine Cancer Society. Retrived from:

[ii] Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from:

[iii] Retrieved from:

[iv] Retrieved from:

[iv]i For details, refer to Cordlife Schedule of Fees.

[v]i Umbilical Cord Blood Offers Another Option for Leukemia Patients. Damaris Christensen. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 4, © Oxford University Press 2005. Retrieved from:

[vi]i Retrieved from:

Start the Holidays with Dona Elena

Start the season right by joining the Doña Elena Cuisinera Club Holiday Special!  All roads will lead to Hemady Square Events Place on November 15 (that’s this Saturday!!!)

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Make celebrations extra special by whipping out NEW HOLIDAY RECIPES for your loved ones.  Learn how to be a Doña Elena Cuisinera as you watch CHEF GOLDA LIAMZON do a live cooking demo and listen to INFORMATIVE TALKS by guest speakers.  To make the event more festive, there will be lots of exciting games and raffle draws!

Entrance is free but reservation is a must so call 807-9999 loc 741 to reserve slots for you and your friends.

Don’t want to miss any Doña Elena Cuisinera Club event or promo?  Make sure you follow them in all their social networking sites. 🙂

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Craft for Kids: Popsicle Pen Holder

It’s Saturday!  Have a #SigeSabado #SigeSaMantsa day with your bulilits with this fun craft idea.

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Got a pack of popsicle sticks in your kid’s craft box? Whip them out with some paint, glue, paper, and stickers for hours of fun.  Doll house, toy plane, trinket box, picture frame… you’ll never run out of things to do with popsicle sticks!  Make something useful and turn them into a pen holder just like we did.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pack of popsicle sticks
  • paper
  • paint
  • glue
  • stickers

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The first thing you need to do is measure the size of the penholder you want to make and count the number of sticks you’ll need.  Instead of gluing the sticks side by side, we cut a strip of paper and glued the sticks on it.  The kids glued 24 sticks so when we folded it into a rectangular prism, it had 6 sticks on each side. 4 more popsicle sticks were glued diagonally to reinforce the paper.  You can use any scrap paper for this since this will be hidden inside the pen holder.  To make sure that the sticks are glued well together, we clipped them with pegs until the glue was dry.

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Once the glue is completely dry, decorate the sticks.  The kids decorated the entire length of sticks using colored pens, watercolour, stickers, and sequins.

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While waiting for the paint to dry, make the bottom part of the holder using left over popsicle sticks.  Again, we used paper and left an extra inch around the perimeter so we can glue it to the inside part of the pen holder.  With the paint all dry and the bottom ready, we assembled their penholders using glue and pegs to hold them together until the glue dried up.

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Mama’s work desk is so much prettier (and more organized!) with these two pen holders. <3

Creating a penholder is just one of the dozen things you can do with just a single pack of popsicle sticks. It doesn’t cost much either. You can get a pack of 100 for just under 50 pesos.  Care to share your craft ideas using these versatile sticks?  We’d love to hear about them so please do share away in the comment section below.

Click here for more #SigeSabado craft ideas

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New Look, New Commercials, More Magic Moments

So you’re having an awfully bad day beset with problems on how to make ends meet raising your child all on your own. You take your child to the grocery to buy whatever essentials you could with the little money you have left. Then out of nowhere, John Lloyd Cruz appears and tells you that you have won a domestic vacation package. Now that is one MAGIC MOMENT! And that is exactly what happened to Jenevie Verances.

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Jen was just buying groceries when she was chosen. The sound of her young child’s squeaky shoes caught the attention of the Magic Flakes Magic Moments team. Watch the video to see how her day became truly magical.


More MAGIC Moments

Jen’s story is just one of the many Magic-al surprises sprung by John Lloyd Cruz on Magic consumers. From the 8 activations in 2013 that brought happiness and immeasurable delight to consumers in Metro Manila, MAGIC now holds activations across all regions. Jen was buying Magic Chips in Cebu when she won. Other Magic consumers from Iloilo, Pampanga, and Laguna have also won various prizes such as Magic Family Treat, Magic Back-to-School Package, and Magic Shopping Treat.

Magic brand ambassador John Lloyd Cruz will be surprising more consumers with truly memorable Magic Moments. He’ll be going to different regions to give out Magic bundles and Magic packages to lucky consumers. Winners can also expect warm embraces and a kiss on the check from the Magic Man himself. So if you see a Magic promo booth, grab your fave Magic crackers and you just might have that Magic Moment with the Magic Man John Lloyd!

“The team and I are looking forward to bringing more magic to different localities around the country. Participating in this activity has changed my life in a unique way. I am truly thankful to Jack ‘n Jill Magic for giving me this opportunity.”

– John Lloyd Cruz –


The MAGIC Continues: Four Years and Counting

The joy he feels every time he sees the smiles of those who are given special Magic Moments is just one of the many reasons why John Lloyd Cruz continues to support Jack ‘n Jill Magic. Asked why he has stayed with Magic all these years, John Lloyd says that he has found in Magic something better than brands we got used to. He says, “Tayong mga Pinoy madaling masanay pero when I tasted Magic, sabi ko there’s something better pala. Mas gusto ko ito.”

Chris Hernandez, Marketing Director of Jack ‘n Jill Magic, says that John Lloyd was chosen as MAGIC’s Brand Ambassador because he personifies the Magic Brand. He has charisma which is evidently seen in the reactions of people when they see him.

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MAGIC Brand Ambassador John Lloyd Cruz with Magic’s Marketing Director Chris Hernandez and Host Gelli Victor

To mark his fourth year with Magic, new commercials showcasing stories of excitement and kilig moments will be aired soon. This new TV campaign will highlight consumers enjoying their fave Magic variants in different scenarios. One commercial I’d love to see again is the one where a girl says “Taken!” Here’s another one that has already hit the net:


New Look Same MAGIC-al Taste

While waiting for the new commercials to air on television, we could already enjoy the different Magic variants in their new distinctive packagings featuring a striking balance between straight and curvy edges. The brighter hues of red, blue, and yellow give them a more upbeat and youthful look. Now you’ve got MAGIC crackers perfect for the vibrant you!

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Want to know more about Magic crackers or check out the Magic Man’s adventures? Head on over to the official Magic Cracker YouTube channel and to the Magic Cracker Facebook page. Want to read about my almost Magic moment with John Lloyd? Check out my post about my #MagicMoments at the Magic FunFair. 🙂

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My #MagicMoments with My Little Ones

Magic Moments at The Magic Fun Fair

So what happens when kids are on school break? Well, this Mama gets to attend blog events! 😀 After a Sunday afternoon in Jollitown, I was able to join lunch at the Magic Funfair in Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wednesday. For a hermit-mom like me, two events in a week are already too many. I couldn’t pass up the chance to see John Lloyd Cruz up close and personal though so off I went to the Jack ‘n Jill Magic Funfair. 😉

Upon arriving at the venue, I was surprised to see carnival game booths inside the function hall. I was then given a Funfair ticket which I was to have stamped in each game booth.

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The first one was the Magic Flakes Photobooth where I had a picture taken with John Lloyd’s standee (was wishing he’d magically turn real right before the camera clicked ;-).

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Each booth featured a Magic cracker variant and a player gets to win a bunch of the corresponding variants. I was able to knockdown a can at the Magic Coated Spill the Choco booth and catch three fishes of the same color at the Magic Junior Go Fish! Yey! Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on my side at the Magic Creams Magic Wheel of Creams and the Magic Chips TicTacChips booths. I had fun playing though and I got a bunch of my kids’ fave Magic Coated Choco Coated Cracker Sandwich.

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While waiting for the program to start, guests enjoyed a buffet lunch with some dishes ingeniously incorporating Magic Crackers in their ingredients. The Leche Flan with Crushed MAGIC Cream Chocolate was an instant hit! Pardon me for not remembering to take photos of the food. Not only was I too caught up in the carnival atmosphere, but I also was too excited anticipating the arrival of THE John Lloyd Cruz.

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The program opened with host Gelli Victor calling a couple of Jack ‘n Jill’s marketing officers to give updates on the Magic campaigns and to introduce Magic Fun Fair.  We met one of the lucky Magic consumers, Jenevie Verances, who received Magic domestic vacation package.  We were then shown one of the latest TV commercials of Magic Crackers that would surely bring kilig moments.

Click here to know more about Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers new TV campaign and new looks

To make the event more festive, four members of the media gamely re-enacted the new commercial.  There’s no need to guess who MAGIC-ally appeared right before the commercial ends, right?

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John Lloyd candidly answered questions from the media. As expected he was not only asked about why he has continued to support Jack ‘n Jill Magic all these years, but was also asked about his relationship with Angelica, his contract with ABS-CBN, and his career plans.

As much as I wanted to wait for my #MagicMoment to have a picture taken with John Lloyd (the real one and not a standee!), mom duties called and I had to head back home.  To be frank though, I wasn’t that sorry to have left early ‘coz I got to have more #MagicMoments with my bulilits who were ecstatic when I brought home an assorted bunch of Magic Crackers.

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Jack ‘n Jill Magic really does have a way of turning ordinary situations into magical ones.  The success of the #MagicMoment campaign stems from the happiness brought to Magic consumers as they are given amazing prizes by the Magic Man himself John Lloyd Cruz.  Want to view these magical moments?  Watch the video below to find out how. 😀